The mid-market UK tabloid, Daily Mail recently had a typically strident headline "Hotel giants accused of misleading online customers by hiding VAT charge". The paper cites an investigation by Which? magazine which found that of "24 hotel chains used by its readers, 11 included properties that did not initially show the tax - which adds 20 per cent to the cost of a room - to those booking online.Trading standards experts have warned hotels not displaying VAT that they are potentially breaching consumer protection regulations".
Vijay DandapaniApple Core Hotels
0 comments 2,681 readsPosted on 2012-09-08
0 comments 1,959 readsPosted on 2012-09-01
Revving up the rate of internal change to cope with the external rate of change is often touted as a key to business success with continually evolving consumer preferences. Companies in a range of industries are using big data to optimize inputs that are likely to effect change. While big data is not a new phenomenon as the Wall Street Journal notes the means to manipulate data to produce meaningful solutions for management remains at a formative stage.
The foregoing is about to change as Cloudtimes per a post on the "future of big data". The article notes that "property and casualty firms are also taking advantage of predictive modeling in their underwriting, quoting, actuarial and pricing workflows, risk management, customer relationship management...
0 comments 1,184 readsPosted on 2012-08-19
A Financial Times column reflects on the revival of the British brand during the recently concluded games wondering why so many storied and long established British companies have over time divested and even spurned any references to their British identity. The Union Jack was ubiquitous as fans, both British and foreign, as well as players sported the colors with pride.
The FT column notes that for some "it was part of a mixed identity: the boy with a South African flag draped down his front and a Union Jack on his back" but for "most it was simpler as in a"a mixed-race girl, draped from neck to ankle in British colours". And yet British companies have spent years and several millions divesting themselves of their Britishness going so far as to actively blank out any insignia or references to their country of origin.
0 comments 5,306 readsPosted on 2012-08-12
The latest Gallup Business Journal's lead article based on recent research in the field suggests that senior executives are "leaving money on the table". The primary reason per Gallup is that "companies measure employee and customer satisfaction without much to show for it. That's because their surveys -- whether one magic question for customers or 100-plus-item monstrosities for employees -- often focus on the rational and exclude the emotional." The productivity and profits oriented journal terms the rewards to be derived from a better focus on the emotional aspect of customer interaction as an""engagement premium" or, essentially, profits that are to be had were customers to be engaged emotionally.
Gallup's conclusions derive from an assignment for a large financial services firm where employee and consumer engagement was surveyed with a view to integrating them; finding that doing so "amplifies...
0 comments 1,749 readsPosted on 2012-07-21
The July issue of the eponymously named quarterly of leading consulting firm, McKinsey & Company suggests five ways to ramp up customer engagement; all of which could go a long way to combat vulnerability the subject of a report titled Hotel Group Brand Vulnerability by another management consulting firm, cg42.
The Quarterly points out that "No organization can avoid coming to grips with the rapidly evolving behavior of consumers and business customers. They check prices at a keystroke and are increasingly selective about which brands share their lives." More relevantly, particularly for travel related...
0 comments 1,509 readsPosted on 2012-07-07
Wyndham Hotels recently issued a relatively optimistic prognosis for the rest of the year saying "Global Vacation Budgets on the Rise". The hotel giant's survey was premised on the finding that "travelers around the globe are rising above recent economic uncertainty by not only vacationing this summer, but increasing their allotted budget to do so."
Wyndham's goal was to "better understand the vacation spending habits of Wyndham Hotel Group's global guests, the survey polled just over 5,600 adults in key cities throughout the U.S., Brazil, Canada, China, and the U.K. and had other interesting conclusions which are noted later below. However, the very idea of consumers feeling better about their financial situation and rising above a pervasive economic gray cloud is less than clear based on seemingly contradictory findings...
0 comments 1,671 readsPosted on 2012-06-16
Between the web, mobile and social media, the recent past has witnessed a proliferation of touchpoints for customer interactions with some industries like hospitality and airlines often actively encouraging and engaging customers across platforms. A recent survey by NICE, an industry leader in the area of "intent based solutions" affirms that dynamic. The company's survey focused on customer "interactions with providers of financial, telecommunications, travel and hospitality, and healthcare and insurance services."
The findings of the survey has many implications for service providers. Among them, that customers interact across more channels, more often, and demand more from providers. A perhaps unsurprising finding is that "on average, the engaged customer contacts service providers across six channels." Also unsurprising is the fact that the Internet "remains the channel...
0 comments 1,133 readsPosted on 2012-06-02
The old saw attributed among others to Henry Ford and Lord Leverlhume about not being able to figure out which 50% of their advertising/marketing dollars works apparently endures. Among the surpising findings in a new survey by Balihoo, a provider of Local Marketing Automation (LMA) technology and services to national brands comes is that a majority of them do not invest enough in developing ROI metrics whether for national or local marketing dollars. Notably, the survey revealed that many national brands lack insight into local marketing return on investment (ROI).
0 comments 1,642 readsPosted on 2012-05-26
A brand's success more often than not lies in it's ability to hone in on consumers’ passions via a holistic approach that uses their fervor to establish an emotional bond preferably over the long run. A Forbes.com article details how Tourism Ireland (TI) scored a home run for the economically beleagured country by successfully deploying "passion-point" marketing in the run up to the 100th anniversary of the April 15th sinking of the Titanic.
While the fact that the ship started its journey from Belfast in Northern Ireland was helpful, TI also emphasized the fact the Titanic was built in Belfast which afforded the city an opportunity to enhance its tourism profile as the authentic birthplace of the world’s most romanticized...
0 comments 1,329 readsPosted on 2012-05-05
The saw about the world's oldest profession being prostitution is arguably false given that sales of any number of essential human needs from basic food to clothing certainly preceded it. Yet the idea of teaching sales is greeted with almost as much opprobrium as that accorded for peddlers of vice particularly in business schools. One MBA program that sets itself apart with sales at its core is the Acton School of Business in Austin, Texas.
Inc. magazine recently profiled Acton's in a feature headlined "Texas Business School Teaching Door-to-Door Sales". While the highly regarded one year MBA program is focused on entrepreneurship every year following winter break there is a "Sales Challenge--a three-day competition in which students go door to door to see which team can sell the most children's dictionaries." It is a task...