How To Improve Concerns and Social Influence like Ritz-Carlton

For this article I have combined data from “The New Gold Standard – 5 Leadership Principles a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company written by Joseph A. Michelli” and the thesis was written by my friend Michael N. Holovacs for his Master of Science in Hospitality Management degree.

I have combined the date here and added them into principles that will help Hotels take a new approach on Concerns and Social Influence.

Michael’s study research the perceptions, attitudes, and behavioral intentions of a sample population of social media participants to determine the level of influence, if any, that their social network holds in vacation decision-making.

Mr. Michelli’s book represents the culture and values that are behind the Legendary Customer Experience with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

Circle of Concerns

Most Hotels today take an approach that is based on disruptive content. Their views and perceptions are based on looking in a crazy mirror;
“There is not enough time for this.”
“Engagement doesn’t have any impact on Revenue and Occupancy.”
“We don’t want our staff to take part in a popularity contest.”
“We can’t afford to dedicate any resources to handle Social Media.”
“Social Media is just another channel for guests to complain.”

I am sure you get the picture. This often is projections of character weakness of inputs then real reflections and research done about Social Media. And it more represents a condition that many Hotels feel that can’t control.

One very interesting set of data from Michael N Holovacs study shows that in 2013 as much as 42 percent of Facebook 1.2 billion users shared travel experience. While the hotel and tourism industries at large are concerning themselves with reviews and user-generated content to the point that review data is now a factor in hotel investment decision-making, largely ignored is the thought that review websites are only one piece of the marketing puzzle.

Cirlcle of Concern

Circle of Concerns typically represent circumstance we can’t control.

At any Hotel concerns that are out of their control will happen. Read the next statement, and make sure you understand it; “Concerns is not the problem, the problem lays in the response or lack of response”.

We can’t control the weather, we can’t control mistakes, we can’t control computers yet and we can’t n control human behaviors. But what we can control is the effects through proactive response channels.

Ritz-Carlton has understood that legendary Customer Experience doesn’t come by accident, nor does it happen by default or come without risk. They on communicating core identities and culture. The biggest risk factors lay in complacency.

This tells us that the Circle of Concerns biggest challenge is that the Hotel has the wrong focus.

Reviews play an important role in the booking process. Many customers stop by there to learn more about a Hotel in their research. Holovacs study points out one key element that Hotels need to pay attention too; in 2013 Nielsen did a Survey on Trust in Advertisement and this survey revealed;

  1. 83% of respondents said they trusted “completely or somewhat” recommendations from people I know
  2. 69% of respondents said they trusted branded websites
  3. 68% of respondents said they trusted consumer opinions posted online

Concerns are largely based on perceptions where most Hotels has a reactive focus. We want to create a shift towards a proactive focus. At Ritz-Carlton, they start with the primary performers which they call Ladies and Gentlemen. The Ladies and Gentlemen are provided knowledge and tools to make every experience right. No challenge is too small or too big.

When guests arrive Ritz-Carlton they expect to enter the Hotels World not for the Hotel to enter the guest’s world.
If you understand this then your Hotel is ready to make a move to Circle of Influence.

Circle of Influence

Circle of Influence

When with a proactive focus Hotels work on the things they can do something about. The nature of the energy here is positive, enlarging and magnifying, cause the Circle of Influence to increase.

The Circle of Influence is inclusive and your Hotels ability to make and keep commitments and promises. Commitments we make to ourselves and others, and our integrity to those commitments is the essence and clearest manifestation of proactivity.

This illustrates the importance of your Hotels Social Community. Social Media has two primary roles;

  • Social – Engagement
  • Media – Relationships

Your role is to build a community that balances these roles based on trust and response. For Ritz-Carlton trust is a key principle to build sustainable long-term profits over time.

Being proactive doesn’t remove concerns, it provides effective timely responses.

To increase Social Influence Hotels need to provide proper and timely responses. Holovacs indicates in his study that the largest implications may be executing Social Media strategies intelligent enough that the community sees them as near-equals. Furthermore, that research and repetition with a focus on distribution and execution could tell Hotels where their problem areas are in Social Media marketing.

Repetition and expansion of this methodology may let the brands know what they are doing wrong; the brands will then be able to close the small gap that does exist, allowing the Hotel to claim legitimately their place as an equal in the Social Media landscape.

Social Media Marketing is no different than traditional Hotel Marketing, the proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.

Stretching and Succeeding

With Social Media, several components will affect your Hotel success. And it starts with commitment and promises. And put your Hotels focus on things you can do something with.

The crazy mirror questions are not limitations, but opportunities. Stretching on Social Media will require some risk. Remember using risk as an excuse will not make it disappear.

Viral content is often caused by no response, lack of response, wrong response or awesome response.

No response and lack of response there is no excuse for today. The wrong response provides us with learning opportunities and if the Hotel take ownership of their mistake this can turn out to be an awesome response. Awesome responses are what create earned media today.


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Our Social Media Management team has refined these processes to help Hotels. Contact us today to learn more.

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Try something new it will magnetize your Hotel!

Be flexible and identify new ways to make guests happy.

As guest behavior and pattern continues to evolve, expectations will continue to rise. Navigating these changes can be challenging. Learn more about how we can help your Hotel.


Big thanks to Michael N. Holovacs.

About the author

Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Marketing Coach. Get more from Are on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Instagram| Podcast