Customer demands 24/7 and more ways than ever for hotel guests to share their review online. Yes, thriving business in the hospitality sector is certainly a challenge. In a world where renting out a property is easier than ever, anyone can become a hotelier. But owning a hotel business goes far beyond giving people a place to sleep. So what are the keys to success in the hospitality industry? And what factors contribute to excellent customer service? Let's ask our colleagues from HFC to share their vision of hospitality.

Michel Vos (Area Manager NL):
"A hotel should be all about the guest experience. The experience must be connected to the services, the way of working and the mindset. It is my job to make this whole operation efficient. The combination of guest experience and efficiency makes the best hotel service." 

Joel Ehrhardt (Area Manager France):
"It is all about communication with the staff, between the hotel's different departments, partners, suppliers, and of course, customers. Everything depends on how the message is passed on and how it is perceived! A clear message, adapted to the target, is a huge part of success. Second is the concept. What are our customers' habits? What do they love? Anticipating customer requests, knowing the habits of the regulars, taking the time to talk to people... all these little touches that make the customer remember his stay in the establishment, make, in my opinion, the customer experience unique."

Ann Catherine Waelterle (Area Manager Paris):
"Ten years ago, it was the product that mattered. Initially, we were looking for having a bell boy, a receptionist and valid parking. But when people travel a lot, they are bothered by those services. What they are looking for is somebody that listens. It is about a welcome experience. The industry is changing, people are changing, and luxury is not a product anymore. Listening to our guests, partners, and the market is one of the most critical elements to succeed. But to be successful, we focus on managing our front- and back-office very well. I have learned that a hotel can have many guests and turnover, but that does not make you successful. If you do not work in your back office, you will lose a lot of money. I am aware of new technology and solutions. Spending time on training and the latest design is the key to running our company efficiently."

Lindsay Harlor (Area Manager US West Coast):
"Customer service needs to be genuine and from the heart. People helping people, guests can feel when it is real. A key and long-lasting relationship is the emotional connection a guest makes with a hotel or brand. Loyal guests will come back, are forgiving, and spend more money. It is essential to understand your customer and their needs and expectations. Once you can capture that, you can create your operational plans and objectives surrounding the core understandings. You cannot add the bells and whistles before you master the foundational needs."

Claudia Montoya (Area Manager US Northeast):
"I believe communication from all parties makes the best hotel service experience. With the technology nowadays, we have information available at our fingerprints, making processes more efficient when used wisely. The key elements for running a successful hospitality business are the people behind it. They say skills are cheap, but passion is priceless. To run a successful business, you need people who care, have the drive, want it and will go above and beyond to do whatever it takes to make it successful."