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Vol. 3, No. 7, June 2011

Cornell Hospitality Service Innovation Roundtable

Cornell Hospitality Roundtable Proceedings

Improving the Guest Experience through Service Innovation:

Ideas and Principles for the Hospitality Industry

by Cathy A. Enz, Ph.D.

Cornell Hospitality ReportVol. 11, No. 11, May 2011

Customer Loyalty:

A New Look at the Benefits of Improving Segmentation Efforts with Rewards Programs

by Clay Voorhees, Ph.D., Michael McCall, Ph.D., and Roger Calantone, Ph.D.

Advisory Board

The Robert A. and Jan M. Beck Center at Cornell University

Cornell Hospitality Roundtable Proceedings, Vol. 3 No. 7 (June 2011)

2011 Cornell University

Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Proceedings is produced for the benefit of the hospitality industry by The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University

Rohit Verma, Executive DirectorJennifer Macera, Associate DirectorGlenn Withiam, Director of Publications

Center for Hospitality ResearchCornell University School of Hotel Administration489 Statler HallIthaca, NY 14853

Phone: 607-255-9780Fax:

Niklas Andren, Group Vice President Global Hospitality & Partner Marketing, Travelport GDS

Raanan Ben-Zur, Chief Executive Officer, French Quarter Holdings, Inc.

Scott Berman, Principal, Real Estate Business Advisory Services, Industry Leader, Hospitality & Leisure, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Raymond Bickson, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Taj Group of Hotels, Resorts, and Palaces

Stephen C. Brandman, Co-Owner, Thompson Hotels, Inc.Raj Chandnani, Vice President, Director of Strategy, WATGBenjamin J. Patrick Denihan, Chief Executive Officer, Denihan Hospitality Group

Brian Ferguson, Vice President, Supply Strategy and Analysis, Expedia North America

Chuck Floyd, Chief Operating OfficerNorth America, Hyatt

Gregg Gilman, Partner, Co-Chair, Employment Practices, Davis & Gilbert LLP

Tim Gordon, Senior Vice President, Hotels, priceline.comSusan Helstab, EVP Corporate Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Jeffrey A. Horwitz, Chair, Lodging + Gaming, and Co-Head, Mergers + Acquisitions, Proskauer

Kevin J. Jacobs, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Treasurer, Hilton Worldwide

Kenneth Kahn, President/Owner, LRP PublicationsKirk Kinsell, President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, InterContinental Hotels Group

Radhika Kulkarni, Ph.D., VP of Advanced Analytics R&D, SAS Institute

Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman, Jumeirah GroupMark V. Lomanno, CEO, Smith Travel ResearchBetsy MacDonald, Managing Director, HVS Global Hospitality Services

David Meltzer, Senior Vice President, Global Business Development, Sabre Hospitality Solutions

William F. Minnock III, Senior Vice President, Global Operations Deployment and Program Management, Marriott International, Inc.

Mike Montanari, VP, Strategic Accounts, Sales - Sales Management, Schneider Electric North America

Shane OFlaherty, President and CEO, Forbes Travel GuideThomas Parham, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Philips Hospitality Americas

Chris Proulx, CEO, eCornell & Executive EducationCarolyn D. Richmond, Partner, Hospitality Practice, Fox Rothschild LLP

Steve Russell, Chief People Officer, Senior VP, Human Resources, McDonalds USA

Michele Sarkisian, Senior Vice President, MaritzJanice L. Schnabel, Managing Director and Gaming Practice Leader, Marshs Hospitality and Gaming Practice

Trip Schneck, President and Co-Founder, TIG Global LLCAdam Weissenberg, Vice Chairman, and U.S. Tourism, Hospitality & Leisure Leader, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP

Thank you to our generous Corporate Members

FriendsAmerican Tescor, LLC Argyle Executive Forum Berkshire Healthcare Center for Advanced Retail Technology Cody Kramer Imports Cruise Industry News DK Shifflet & Associates EyeforTravel Gerencia de Hoteles & Restaurantes Global Hospitality Resources Hospitality Financial and Technological Professionals Hospitality Technology Magazine Hotel Asia Pacific Hotel China Hotel Interactive Hotel Resource International CHRIE International Hotel Conference International Society of Hospitality Consultants iPerceptions JDA Software Group, Inc. J.D. Power and Associates The Lodging Conference Lodging Hospitality Lodging Magazine LRA Worldwide, Inc. Milestone Internet Marketing MindFolio Mindshare Technologies PhoCusWright Inc. PKF Hospitality Research Resort and Recreation Magazine The Resort Trades Shibata Publishing Co. Synovate The TravelCom Network Travel + Hospitality Group UniFocus USA Today WageWatch, Inc. The Wall Street Journal WIWIH.COM Wyndham Green

PartnersDavis & Gilbert LLP Deloitte & Touche USA LLPDenihan Hospitality GroupeCornell & Executive EducationExpedia, Inc. Forbes Travel GuideFour Seasons Hotels and Resorts Fox Rothschild LLP French Quarter Holdings, Inc. HVS Hyatt InterContinental Hotels Group Jumeirah GroupLRP PublicationsMarriott International, Inc.Marshs Hospitality Practice Maritzpriceline.comPricewaterhouseCoopersProskauer Sabre Hospitality Solutions Schneider Electric Thayer Lodging Group Thompson HotelsTravelportWATG

Senior PartnersASAE FoundationHilton WorldwideMcDonalds USAPhilips HospitalitySASSTRTaj Hotels Resorts and PalacesTIG Global

4 TheCenterforHospitalityResearchCornellUniversity

AbouT The AuThor

Ideas and Principles for the Hospitality Industry

Cathy A. enz, Ph.D., is a professor of strategy and the Louis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration ( She chaired the 2011 Service Innovation Roundtable described in these proceedings. Her research focuses on hospitality strategy, including innovation, competitive dynamics, pricing strategy, and change management. Among her recent publications are the best-practices series of case studies on innovators in the hospitality industry, with four coauthors, articles in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, and two new books The Cornell School of Hotel Administration Handbook of Applied Hospitality Strategy and Hospitality Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, 2nd edition. The assistance of the following Cornell faculty members in preparing this report is appreciated: Professor Gary Thompson, Professor Rohit Verma, executive director of the Center for Hospitality Research, and Associate Professor Kate Walsh, Fred G. Peelen Professor of Hospitality Global Strategy.


byCathyA.Enz 5

exeCuTive SuMMAry

The2011 Service Innovation Roundtable examined both the mechanisms for serviceinnovationandtheinnovationsthemselves.Theprimaryfocusoftheseinnovationswasimproving the guest experience, which includes interaction with employees andaddressing technical issues. Numerous lodging and hospitality firms are focusingintentionallyoninnovationasawaytoimproveguestsatisfactionand,asaresult,boostrevenuesandprofits.Whiletheactualmeasurementofserviceinnovationscanbedifficult,mostparticipantspointedtosuchmetricsasimprovedcustomersatisfaction,greaterparticipationinloyaltyprograms,andcostsavingsfrommoreefficiencyintheguestserviceprocess,sinceguestsusuallyappreciateservicethatisasdirectandsimpleaspossible.ApresentationbyMarriottInternational,forinstance,explainedhowtheideaofimprovingtheguestarrivalexperienceinthelobbyledtothedevelopmentofthegreatroomconcept,whichincludesadditional(andmorespeedy)foodandbeverageservice.InnovationatWyndhamincludesitsmanysustainabilityinitiatives.Throughoutanyinnovation,changeagentswillconfrontdifferenttypesofsupportandresistance,andmusthaveastrategyforaddressingtheconcernsofeachperson.Intheend,innovationmustbeasdata-drivenaspossible,whetherthatmeansaskingguests and employees for innovative ideas or findingways tomeasure service changes as they areinitiated.

6 TheCenterforHospitalityResearchCornellUniversity

Cornell hoSpiTAliTy roundTAble proCeedingS

Innovation is theprocessofdevelopingnewideasorprocesses,or takingexisting ideasandprocessesinnewdirections.Aninnovativeideaorprocessdoesnothavetoinvolveaboltfromtheblue,butitalmostalwaysinvolvesatleastatwistoncurrentoperations.MeetingatCornellsSchoolofHotelInnovation,agroupoftwodozenserviceresearchersandpractitionersgatheredinMay2011 toexamine the latest concepts in service,withagoalof sharing innovative ideasandprocesses,andexpandingacultureofinnovationinthehospitalityindustry.



Ideas and Principles for the Hospitality Industry

Service innovation is the introduction of new or novelideas that focus on services that provide new waysof delivering a benefit, new service concepts, or newservice business models through continuous operationalimprovement, technology, investment in employeeperformance, or management of the customer experience.

Developed during the 2008 Service Innovation RoundtableCornell University School of Hotel Administration 7