Hotel 1000 in Seattle showed the key is Customer Service

Many of us first think about a product or service in terms of cost and functionality. A very important component would be the level of customer service. Profit margins in the travel industry are very tight so each vendor needs to provide the best experience possible for their guests. Recently I had the chance to test a hotel’s willingness to help me in preparing details for my sister’s wedding in very short notice.

The Hotel 1000 in Seattle, part of Benchmark’s Northwest Collection, is as dynamite as the staff they employ. Since I had previously stayed there and knew I would be in town for number of upcoming nights, I started interacting with the Social Media Marketing Manager via Facebook. With short notice of the event, he promptly returned my requests and helped me through the process of hiring premium transportation, providing additional rooms, and connecting me with other key staff that I needed to make my sister’s special day as relaxed and elegant as possible. The service I received was amazing! It still makes me reflect about how strong customer service impacts repeat business and the bottom line.

In many cases it is not just the interaction of the guest and employee that shine. It is also how staff interact with each other both at the front and back of the house. The Hotel 1000’s Social Media Marketing Manager helped me adjust room needs, confirm services, and worked as a liason between me and the Sales Manager at BOKA bar & kitchen to design a custom wedding cake. On the day of the event the restaurant Sales Manager and General Manager both came to introduce themselves, confirm everything was as wonderful as expected, and offered further assistance. The flow of communication was seamless which was equally as “wow-ing” as the luxurious accommodations and gourmet food we enjoyed.

For a luxurious experience in Seattle, visit

Status updates? Yes, please!

While the weather causes chaos across much of the United States, many of us folks in New England are starting to become submissive to the nasty winter weather. We have started thinking that snow is part of our weekly routine and an unfortunate expectation. And as we are required to travel for work, school, and basic needs, we often look for guidance in what was traditional media (as I define television, newspaper, and radio outlets). Huddled away from what seems to be thousands of inches of snow, my thoughts now turn to social media, smart phones/devices, and how organizations in the travel industry are harnessing the power of these communication methods.

Social media like Facebook and Twitter are by no means “new”. Neither are copious choices of iPhone or Android applications. What is interesting, however, is the sheer number of people that because of these outlets are informed simultaneously of an event or decision. One great local example is Boston’s Logan International Airport on Facebook. They update the status on traffic accidents getting to or from the airport, weather conditions with estimated flight delays, and changes in aircraft boarding gates due to construction. People are then able to adjust travel plans and arrive or depart the airport based current information. Bravo also goes to the airlines that also use social media to broadcast travel waivers and allow customers to be proactive in changing flights before the weather arrives.

The positive impact social media is making on travel industry operations helps to ease tension for consumers and employees alike. No one wants to miss their Caribbean cruise due to a snowstorm, but sitting in an airport for hours hoping to fly just makes the travel process more difficult. A simple text message notifying of a cancelled flight and then another of automatic rebooking makes all the difference to everyone concerned.

A sincere “thank you” to those in the travel industry that take the time to Tweet and update their status so we can be much more informed and prepared!