Premiere blog: Transforming ordinary processes into extraordinary experiences
Hello. I am Nanci. I am delighted to meet you all through this medium. First, a short bio on me:
While employed by The Kimpton Group, in a completely independent boutique hotel environment, I led my team to committing what seemed impossible ? generating a full month of 100% occupancy (and yes, RevPAR exceeded budget). This resulted in the team continuously overcoming “obstacles” to create stellar results not just at the professional level but in their personal lives as well. In 2009 I took the most underperforming asset in Sage Hospitality ? an upscale branded hotel running dead last in the portfolio (#50) ? and within nine months, the hotel was in the #15 spot in terms of financials, brand audits and corporate metrics. In 2010 I repositioned an independent hotel in Atlanta that boasted 17% RevPAR growth while the Atlanta market posted only 6.3%. A senior vice president in charge of 82 hotels recently commented that when evaluating guest responses at this hotel, he had never seen so many positive comments regarding service.
Let’s have some fun and play with some new thinking in this blog:
I reposition hotels, launch brands and am hired to create breakthrough results for underperforming and average-performing hotels, and to make great hotels extraordinary. These hotels not only show impressive shifts in market share and profitability, but become distinctive in the marketplace for all constituents: owners, guests and associates. It is this very distinction ? or “decommoditizing” of the property, whether independent, lifestyle or branded ? that has allowed these properties to stand out in a sea of mediocrity and not be totally subject to the Lemmings Rate and Survival Game in softer demand periods.
In these days of REITs and ownership groups buying up assets for cents on the dollar, there is sure to be a glut of the “same old same old” everywhere. What are you going to do to win the game? How are you going to stand apart in this sea of similar flags? Today, there are minimal differences among the brand loyalty programs, and those differences are continually benchmarked and then trumped.
So, why am I writing a blog?
My passion is reinventing what hospitality looks like and feels like and its subsequent results on profitability and the distinctive spirit and health of the organization. My blog will focus on kicking service to the curb as we currently know it; chatting about the power of culture versus training on your guest scores, global media, return and trial statistics; breaking apart the myth of loyalty and what drives it; and creating identities that will set hotels apart. While “classically” trained in the big-box mentality with Hilton, Starwood and Marriott, my niche has been in the destination resort, boutique, lifestyle and luxury brands. If in my life’s experience my master’s degree is in hotel high performance, my bachelor’s degree is in creating powerful distinctions between leadership and management, and the impact of a transformed leader.
Now, here is my big secret: I write to you completing an assignment in Atlanta in which I created the title of “chief happiness officer” (a.k.a. general manager). You may laugh, but in future blogs let’s talk about what business you think you are in versus the one you are really in. Let’s take on the difference between guest loyalty and guest happiness and see which bears more results.