Monthly Archives: December 2019

Why You Should Appreciate The Value of Local Tourism

Phil Bruno, Treat 'em Right, "the guest experience is key!"

 

 

The value of local tourism is what Phil Bruno, President of the experiential marketing firm Treat ‘em Right, teaches others. Phil graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in Travel, Tourism, and Transportation. After working about 20 years for Fortune 500 companies, he came back to his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.

Phil is a world-class consultant, trainer, and speaker specializing in helping large and small organizations in travel, tourism, and hospitality. Through his online e-learning courses in twenty different cities, he has trained over 40,000 graduates.

Customized Solution

Residents of cities don’t necessarily know what there is for visitors to see and do. Treat ‘em Right visits your destination to uncover opportunities for enhancement and improvement. Based on first-hand research, they design a customized solution to help you extend the stay and pay of your customers.

Exceed Expectations

Treat ‘em Right helps you deliver state-of-the-art experiences that exceed visitor’s expectations. They work with stakeholders and experience providers by sharing the latest tools and training to benefit anyone who interacts with guests. Phil has demonstrated that better training leads to higher employee satisfaction and higher visitor ratings.

Personalized Experience

According to Phil, you must offer something that is memorable and outside the range of the normal experience. In the service industries, it’s the little things that add up to create the personalized experience that visitors want to blog, brag, and most importantly – return to your destination. Treat ‘em Right trains every member of your hospitality community to go the extra mile so guest feel noticed, appreciated, and valued.

Video Training

His training teaches valuable communication skills and educates people about different management styles. When you focus on putting quality into people, the industry becomes better. He develops video training, in conjunction with local convention and visitors bureaus, to educate employees on their local areas. There is a test after each video lesson. The city will send employees a certificate after they complete the course. The goal is to share their city’s brand promise with its hospitality and tourism employees.

From Phil Bruno’s Website:

Some of Phil’s Clients:

  • Destination Cleveland
  • National Park Service
  • Niagara Falls USA
  • Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • The Gateway Arch
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum

Brand Awareness

Destination marketing is now converting to destination management organizations. As a result, the focus is much more community involved. Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus bring brand awareness to their communities. Coming to town is considered “being on brand.” The goal is to exceed the expectations of visitors by offering an incredible brand experience.

Advocacy

Much of Phil’s work is focused on advocacy for the tourism industry. Many people do not realize how much the tourism industry does to lower their taxes. Each household saves money each year because of the tourism industry. Phil is focused on educating communities about what tourism does by bringing money to their economy.

Treat ‘em Right

I appreciate Phil speaking with me about his work. To learn more about Mr. Bruno and his company Treat ‘em Right, visit his website. I know Phil’s destination marketing videos are helping thousands of people. Innkeepers can educate their guests about their area in conversation, display tourism brochures, and ask guests what they like to do and share local recommendations. Appreciate the value of local tourism!

Blogging and Social Media

Another great way to inform visitors is to feature local businesses and destinations in blog posts and on social media. Then when people search for a city and an activity or place, perhaps one of your blog posts will show up! That is a benefit of providing regular blog content.

Contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging for a free 15-minute consultation. Learn how improving your marketing will improve your business. I can help you with blogging, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.

 

Are You Focused On Your Guest Experience?

Book Cover "The Customer of the Future", Author Blake Morgan, Big Data, Feedback

 

Guest experience should be at the top of your hospitality priority list. According to Blake Morgan, in her book The Customer of the Future, how we make people feel has a significant impact on their perception of us. Moreover, today’s customers prefer to interact with companies that make their lives easier and better.


Focus on Guest Experience and Happiness

In fact, research suggests that people find more lasting happiness from investing in experiences than in buying things. A “guest experience mindset” occurs when every decision the company makes is based on what is best for the customer. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos recognized the importance of this when he stated, “If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, it will be the beginning of the end.” Thus, the guest should be at the heart of everything your B&B inn does.

5 Qualities of Guest Experience Focused Leader

  • Energy for influencing change: positive attitude, genuine, high standards, efficient, motivated, caring, organized, and effective communication
  • Neighborly: listening, approachable, flexible, humble, showing empathy, going the extra mile
  • Good judgment: sound decision making, forward thinking, strategic, inspiring greatness in others
  • Problem solving: creativity, innovation, clever solutions
  • Consistent say/do ratio: transparent, honest, trustworthy, committed, integrity

A Zero-Friction Customer Experience

According to the book, your goal should be a zero-friction customer experience for your guests. Companies succeed when they figure out efficient ways to solve common problems. For instance, focus on how you can continue to create a more seamlessly efficient process. These means accommodating the needs of your guests, solving their problems, and asking questions to determine ways to overcome challenges.

When guests first enter your accommodations, make sure their experience is pleasant. In addition, identify the added services you can create to make their stay even more attractive as well as to encourage return visits.

Stays Should Be Meaningful and Memorable

The hospitality industry is changing quickly. Therefore, accommodation providers should make a traveler’s stay both more meaningful and more memorable. According to Sharon Cohen, Vice-President of the Fairmont Hotels Brand, they ask two fundamental questions:

  • What are our guests telling us?
  • What needs have yet to be articulated?

Role of Technology in the Guest Experience

Of course, technology is an important asset in helping to bring the guest experience mindset to life. Chief Experience and Innovation Officer, John Padgett, designed magic bands for guests of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Ocean Medallion. Moreover, this includes 7,000 sensors and 4,000 digital interaction points.

The magic bands track passengers’ movements on the ship (helps them locate loved ones); makes personalized recommendations of what to eat and do; lets passengers charge purchases throughout their time aboard; allows guests to lock and unlock rooms, turn lights on and off, adjust room temperatures; and much more. Thus, this provides a more seamless guest experience.

Customer Feedback and Personalization

It makes sense that customer feedback is critical to finding out what your customers like and want from you. In fact, studies show that guests would gladly give up some data to a trusted company in exchange for a desirable customer experience. According to author Blake Morgan, “personalization” allows businesses to treat their guests more like people and less like wallets. The key is to focus on guests, designing great experiences specific to their needs, and telling amazing stories about them.

Measurements Lead to Better Decisions

However, if you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it. That’s why analytics is so important. Analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns of data, and the process of applying those patterns toward effective decision making.

The Customer of the Future book describes “customer centricity” as focusing on a small group of your most valuable clients and surrounding them with relevant options. In other words, find your best customers. Then, look for ways to expand your relationship with them. Analytics helps companies to be better listeners, provide more relevant experiences, and be where their guests need them. What does the information you have about your guests tell you?

Real-Time Offers and Customer Loyalty

This book asks what real-time offers can you make your customer? How can you better meet your guests’ needs throughout their experience? They recommend that businesses create special programs for their most loyal customers. How could you apply this to your hospitality business? What program could you develop for your biggest fans? For example, perhaps you can create an incentive program for frequent stays and guest referrals.

Guest Journeys and Customized Communication

Think about your guests’ journey and the relevance of your communications with them. Why are they coming? What is their story? How can you give them a better guest experience? According to Blake Morgan, there is no one definition for customer experience and no “one-size-fits all” approach. Thus, we must be looking for ways to connect with our guests in a more personal way. In conclusion, companies that create an amazing guest experience make it their intention to do so.

 

Do you live in a Downton Abbey?

Downton Abbey The Film Cast

 

Do you live in a Downton Abbey? Even if your bed and breakfast is historical, it may not have all the drama that came with the 6-season television show called Downton Abbey. One of the most talked about shows on television is the highest rated drama that PBS has ever had.

 

Available (at the time of this current posting) on Amazon Prime, and released in theaters in 2019, Downtown Abbey: The Motion Picture, features the beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff who prepare for a royal visit from the King and Queen of England in this grand cinematic experience.

 

Highclere Castle

The show and movie is set at Highclere Castle, where people may have lived as long as 1300 years ago. The structural work on the interior of the Castle was finally completed in 1878. Once built, the Castle became a center of political life during the late Victorian era.

Important Visitors

In many ways Highclere Castle epitomized the confidence and glamour of the Edwardian period in the first few years of the twentieth century. Visitor books record the house parties full of politicians, technological innovators, Egyptologists, aviators and soldiers.

First World War

During the First World War, Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, transformed the Castle into a hospital, and patients began to arrive from Flanders in September 1914. She became an adept nurse and a skilled healer. Hundreds of letters from patients and their families bear testament to her untiring work and spirit of generosity.

Earl of Carnarvon

The Castle returned to a private home. In 1922, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, the first global world media event.

Second World War

Following the death of the 5th Earl, his son, who then became the 6th Earl, returned to Highclere where he lived until 1986. During the Second World War, the Castle briefly became a home for evacuee children from north London.

Current Day

The current (8th) Earl and Countess of Carnarvon live partly in the Castle and partly nearby but remain closely involved in the Castle’s day to day life and future.  If you live in a historical bed and breakfast, your guests would love to hear about its history–including the drama! Then you can answer the question, “Do you live in a Downton Abbey?”