The importance of first contact – what's a smile worth?

Robert Passikoff
Brand Keys, Inc., United States

Frank Mulhern
Northwestern University, United States


This paper describes an innovative approach to establishing financial values for each aspect of the hotel guest experience. It addresses the following two, critical planning questions: Can employee engagement and behavior be linked to guest expectations that allow for the calculation of potential “future value” created by better managing the guest experience and, in an age when guest “delight” turns into “expectation” faster than an overnight stay, and less and less, hotel facilities alone produce the kind of leveragable differentiation required to build loyalty and profitability, how can hotels avoid commoditization and maintain guest loyalty?