Blog Closing

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November 3, 2014

New--BeginningsTo Our Dear Followers,

It is with a happy heart that we are no longer posting under this blog, effective immediately.

We are, however, excited to announce our NEW blog: Hospitality Shero!!!! This blog will represent the best of both worlds: Diamond Hospitality Services and our newest company addition, World-Class Hotel Consulting, which we are preparing to launch in the next couple of months.

We are asking each of you to please go to http://www.hospitalityshero.com and follow us over there. We’ve changed up the style and format to make it more livelier and fun! There’s a little bit of something for everybody! So please continue to show your support for us and follow that blog!

Thank you so much for sticking with us as long as you have. We look forward to continued sharing and vice versa!

~Erica A. Rucker, Owner

Blog Closing

Originally posted on Diamond Hospitality's Blog:

November 3, 2014

New--BeginningsTo Our Dear Followers,

It is with a happy heart that we are no longer posting under this blog, effective immediately.

We are, however, excited to announce our NEW blog: Hospitality Shero!!!! This blog will represent the best of both worlds: Diamond Hospitality Services and our newest company addition, World-Class Hotel Consulting, which we are preparing to launch in the next couple of months.

We are asking each of you to please go to http://www.hospitalityshero.com and follow us over there. We’ve changed up the style and format to make it more livelier and fun! There’s a little bit of something for everybody! So please continue to show your support for us and follow that blog!

Thank you so much for sticking with us as long as you have. We look forward to continued sharing and vice versa!

~Erica A. Rucker, Owner

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When to Buy the Cheapest Airline Ticket

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October 31, 2014

airplaneIf you’re anything like us, you probably thought Tuesdays was the best day to buy an airline ticket, right? WRONG! According to this article, times have definitely changed and Tuesdays are no longer the best days.

(Photo: Coline Ali-Belhadj / EyeEm/Coline Ali-Belhadj / EyeEm)

So which day is the best? Read on to find out….

If you’re shopping for cheap airline tickets for your next vacation, wait until the weekend to grab the best deal.

Though Tuesday has traditionally been favored (it’s when sales tend to hit) a recent study shows that the new day for the deepest discounts is Sunday. The Sunday advantage applied to both domestic and international ticket purchases, according to the Airline Reporting Corporation, which analyzed air ticket transactions between January 2013 and July 2014. Average Sunday purchases made between 7 and 14 weeks before travel were typically $110 cheaper.

This shift allows airlines to lure vacation shoppers with weekend deals, but still charge full price for the tickets business travelers might purchase on weekdays, writes the Wall Street Journal. And though Sunday has taken the mantle from Tuesday as the day for cheapest fares, airline sales and price drops still happen on Tuesday. In fact, outside of Saturday and Sunday, Tuesday still offers the best deals.

Another factor to consider is how far in advance you purchase your tickets. If you’re traveling domestically, the study found that purchases made eight weeks beforehand yielded the lowest prices. For international flights, the best deals were nabbed 24 weeks in advance.

Summary Statistics for U.S. Domestic Flights by Day of Week

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Source: Airline Reporting Corporation

Summary Statistics for International Flights by Day of Week]

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Source: Airline Reporting Corporation

Average Domestic Ticket Price Changes Between 300 Days In Advance And Departure

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Source: Airline Reporting Corporation

Average International Ticket Price Changes Between 300 Days In Advance And Departure

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Source: Airline Reporting Corporation

What do you think? Is this enough to convince you to switch up your buying days? Share your thoughts below!

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, http://www.diamondhospitalityblog.com is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts/stories. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit http://www.diamondhospitalityservices.com to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

Deborah Jian Lee is a journalist, radio producer and author of a forthcoming book (Beacon Press). Follow her @deborahjianlee and visit her websitewww.deborahjianlee.com.

Original post at https://www.yahoo.com/travel/when-to-buy-the-cheapest-airline-tickets-100852370072.html

The Big Tipping Debate

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October 29, 2014

TiporNotIn case you haven’t been paying attention, there is a BIG debate going on about tipping. Should you or should you not tip your server? In either case, does the server deserve to be tipped? If so, how much? If not, do you do it anyway?

Scenario 1: OMG! You got the worst service ever while eating out.

Scenario 2:OMG! You got the absolute best service while eating out.

Scenario 3: OMG! Your service was right in the middle. It wasn’t bad, by any means, but it was not the greatest, either.

What to do?

Scenario 1: Absolutely NOBODY likes to pay their hard earned money only to Badservicetipreceive shoddy service from the restaurant staff (manager, server, bartender, etc.). If you do, please let us know because it’s totally unheard of and we want to acknowledge you for being different. Anyway, you receive shoddy service and wonder if you should still leave a tip. After all, tips are how today’s servers make money so they can pay their bills. However, where is the line drawn? Should they be rewarded for less-than-stellar service? Do you even bother to leave a bare minimum?

CrazyTipScenario 2: You just got the best service of the year! You absolutely feel your server deserves a tip. But, how much? 15%? 18%? 20%? Some restaurants have 22% as on option. Do you follow the “guidelines” or do you tip however you feel? Or, do you even tip at all? Even with great service, people tend to still not tip at all. Is that fair?

Scenario 3: Eh, service was just okay. You weren’t disappointed but you weren’t blown away, either. What do you do? Do you just leave the standard percentage of the tip and keep it movin?

Here’s another twist: should restaurants be forced to pay their employees the standard minimum wage, like everybody else, and not one set aside for the restaurant industry? According to the United States Department of Labor, “The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires payment of at least the federal minimum wage to covered, nonexempt employees.  An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a MinimumWagemonth in tips. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.

Some states have minimum wage laws specific to tipped employees. When an employee is subject to both the federal and state wage laws, the employee is entitled to the provisions which provides the greater benefits.” (http://www.dol.gov/elaws/faq/esa/flsa/002.htm)

Check out these two articles on the subject:

http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/tipping-debate-pros-and-cons-of-tipping

http://www.lyvbh.com/2013/08/14/tip-sensitivity-training/

Should there be a tip sensitivity training or is the world simply overreacting? Speak up, America! Let us know where you stand on this very touchy subject.

Here’s one comment on the subject (name not revealed to protect privacy):

  • If you can’t afford to tip your server accordingly, don’t go out to eat. I hardly ever publicly bitch about my job because I’m thankful to have it. However, it is not okay to tip $10 on a $137 ticket, especially if you said I gave you EXCELLENT service. Rant over.

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, http://www.diamondhospitalityblog.com is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts/stories. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit http://www.diamondhospitalityservices.com to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

Secrets Of A Frustration-Free Customer Service Experience

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October 27, 2014

customer_service_satisfaction_in_actionAre you driving your customers crazy with a clunky customer experience and antiquated approach to customer service? Here are three ways to combat this, ideas I suggest as a customer experience and customer service consultant to my clients when they sense growing frustration levels among their customers.

(Time is not on your side here: Clunky systems are becoming less and less acceptable in today’s marketplace; respect for and anticipation of what your customers want are the watchwords for a successful customer experience.)

1. Help Customers Find It For Themselves

Customers appreciate the ability to have genuine, meaningful contact with a company, especially if the company has empathetic, intelligent, empowered humans working for it. However, customers only want to be in touch with you when they need you, not when you force them to contact you because of bad process design and lazy systems implementation.

Customers don’t want to have to call you just to find out that their order has shipped; they want an automated confirmation. They don’t want to call you for your GPS address because your site only lists your PO Box. And they eventually will stop calling.

If you want word about you to spread, don’t let the word that spreads be how hard it was to find something in your FAQ’s—or to find your FAQs in the first place. You, in other words, need to be the expert here, providing expert information where the customer can easily find it, so they feel informed and at ease when they work with you.

Amazon.com obsesses over these kind of stupid inquiries from customers (note: the customer isn’t stupid for making the inquiry; a company is stupid if it’s forcing the customer to make the inquiry) and searches them out (the inquiries, not the customers) for destruction. Most elementally, they were the first well-known company to replace all the irritating calls you have to make to see if your order had actually been received with that instant automated confirmation that customers now all pavlovianly depend on.

2. Personalize and Curate Results for Your Customers

Apple’s personal assistron, Siri, may seem like a bit of a toy, and certainly has her limitations, but she’s good at finding the question within the question: I tell Siri “I have a headache,” and she comes back with “I have found 4 drugstores not too far from you.” (One time she responded “I found 8 emergency rooms not too far from you..” “Siri,” I retorted, with some dismay, “Isn’t that a bit alarmist? I don’t think it’s that bad a headache.”)

While Siri seems like a bit of a novelty act, she’s one of the most visible (make that “audible”) manifestations of an important phenomenon that is well on its way to customer-service-badtransforming customer service: the trend toward, and desire on the part of customers for, information that is electronically curated for them in a personalized manner, and is delivered to them instantly.

Here are some examples, ranging from the mundane to the literally lifesaving, from which you may find inspiration.

Amazon.com (again with the Amazon, Micah!)’s magic mix of crowdsourcing and algorithmic magic that allows it to know the item you want to buy (even if it’s not the one you thought you wanted)

Route Happy — sorts air travel options for you based on a “Happiness Score,” which in their words reveals “shorter flights with better planes, seats, amenities, and flyer ratings”

PECO Energy in Pennsylvania: Automated messaging system lets customers know—based on phone they call in from – if problem has already been reported or if it needs customer to provide more details—and lets you know how long until it is resolved

National Weather Service’s pinpointed “stay inside” messaging vs. searching weather underground etc: this can (at least this is the intention) be pinpointed as closely as the nearest cell tower to ensure you don’t get extraneous messages or miss the one that will save your life.

3. Get to Customers First–Before They Know They Need You

customer-firstA third master skill of creating a great customer experience and superior customer service is what I call “Get To Them First” customer service. For a quick discussion of the “Get To Them First” subject, please check out my recent Forbes.com article: “Become Irreplaceable Through ‘Get To Them First’ Customer Service”

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Do you have any suggestions to add, based on your own experience(s)? We would LOVE to hear about them in the comment section below!

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, http://www.diamondhospitalityblog.com is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts/stories. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit http://www.diamondhospitalityservices.com to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

About the Author

Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant, customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and the bestselling author most recently of High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service.

The Atlanta World Kite Festival & Expo

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October 25, 2014

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Looking for your childhood? Well, I do believe we found it! Come on out and have FUN while supporting a great event: The Atlanta World Kite Festival & Expo!

Let me tell you…Our lovely boss, Ms Erica A. Rucker, LOVES flying kites, especially at the top of Stone Mountain, where the wind is normally pretty strong! Look closely and you’ll see the spec that is her kite!

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Visit the website for all the details, BUT it’s from 1-6pm at Piedmont Park, in Atlanta. There will be food, contests,  entertainment, and so much more!

http://www.atlantaworldkitefestival.com/

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

The Coolest Hotel in Every State

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October 24, 2014

201410-hd-thrillist-coolest-hotelsUnless your name happens to be Arthur Fonzarelli (in which case, that’s crazy!), it’s hard to define the word “cool”. And even harder to apply the label to hotels, when “cool” could mean historic, or trendy, or that the place is actually a decommissioned Coast Guard helicopter with a full-service bar… in your room!

But since we’re not above doing hard work, we tried to figure out just how each state would define cool, and then applied that spirit to their hotels. In the end, we came up with what we think is each state’s coolest, most emblematic hotel. Or we were wildly off. You decide.

2014-10-16-CoolestHotelsEachState_2-ALAlabama

The Battle House Renaissance Hotel & Spa
Mobile, AL

Credit: Battle House

With a badass name like The Battle House, you’d assume this place was some sort of Confederate headquarters during the Civil War. Turns out that while the historic hotel was indeed open during the war, it got the name from its founder, a guy named James Battle. Mildly disappointing, indeed, but it doesn’t make this spot — where Stephen Douglas stayed when Lincoln whipped him in the election of 1858 — any less awesome; the interior will make you feel like you’ve time-traveled back 150 years.

2014-10-16-CoolestHotelsEachState_3AKAlaska

Ultima Thule Lodge
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, AK

Credit: Ultima Thule Lodge

It’s Alaska, so you know we’re not gonna tell you about some swanky joint in Anchorage with a killer brunch buffet. No, we’re gonna tell you about this luxury lodge that’s 100 miles from the nearest road, and only accessible by private plane. Here you’ll sit in the middle of the largest swath of protected land on the planet; you’ll hike, fish, and boat while your hosts spend the day cooking an epic meal that you’ll eat in a dining room full of oversized chairs, before retreating to your private, hillside cabin.

2014-10-16-CoolestHotelsEachState_4AZArizona

Shady Dell Vintage Trailer Court
Bisbee, AZ

Credit: Shady Dell

A lot of hotels will claim to “transport you back to another time,” but as soon as you flip on the TV and Real Housewives comes on, you become painfully aware it’s still 2014. Not so at this vintage trailer park, where not only have they adorned every trailer in perfect 1950s kitsch, but the radios only play music from that era, the TVs are black and white, and there’s nothing to read but words printed on old newspaper rife with cigarette ads. But don’t let the ads fool you; the only 21st-century advent at Shady Dell is a strict non-smoking policy.

2014-10-16-CoolestHotelsEachState_5ARArkansas

Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
Parthenon, AR

Credit: Arkansas.com

Don’t try to sound all “back-to-nature” when you tell friends you’re unleashing your inner caveman by staying in this lodge built into a real cave in the Ozarks. The place is actually a full-on house complete with Jacuzzi, five master bedrooms, satellite TV, and, oh yeah, a heliport. That’s one big cave. Obviously, Beckham Creek’s a popular spot for weddings, events, and celebrities who don’t want anyone to know they’re in Arkansas.

2014-10-16-CoolestHotelsEachState_6CACalifornia

The Queen Mary
Long Beach, CA

Credit: Queen Mary

We’re not really sure what else to say about this other than IT’S THE QUEEN FREAKING MARY. As in, the most famous cruise ship ever that didn’t crash into an iceberg. Yeah, that Queen Mary. And while this trans-Atlantic luxury liner from a bygone era now makes its permanent home in the LBC, it’s also a 346-room luxury hotel complete with a spa, shopping, and first-rate gym.

2014-10-16-CoolestHotelsEachState_7COColorado

The Stanley Hotel
Estes Park, CO

Credit: Facebook user The Stanley Hotel

Colorado’s got plenty of luxurious mountain resorts, but there’s only one so awesome it inspired Stephen King to write 200,000 words about it. This spot (named for the same guy who founded Stanley Steamer) is the hotel from The Shining, and while you might not run into a bartender who tells you to kill your family, there are enough rumored ghost stories in this place to make it a bonafide haunted landmark.

2014-10-16-CoolestHotelsEachState_8CTConnecticut

Winvian
Litchfield Hills, CT

Credit: Winvian

Try not to get the theme from Airwolf stuck in your head (because it will, GOD it will) when you check into this 118-acre resort in rural Connecticut, because of all their 18 themed cottages, the one you’re 100 percent going to stay in is the fully-restored 1968 Sea King Pelican HH3F helicopter. If somehow that’s not your thing, there’s also a log cabin, a treehouse, a greenhouse, and even something called the “secret society.”

Head over to Thrillist.com to check out the complete list of coolest hotels in every state, including a luxury treehouse and a former jail!

Come across any cool hotels during your travels? Well, by all means, let us know in the comment section below!

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, http://www.diamondhospitalityblog.com is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts/stories. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit http://www.diamondhospitalityservices.com to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

The Reason Behind the Struggle of Not Making Money

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October 22, 2014

NadiasCornerMoney is truly an elusive topic for the best of us, and it is a topic whose psychology has always seemed to have fascinated me. Why do some have more than others? Why do we hear some people perpetually struggle ALL their lives, whereas some struggle and after a few years, they’ve “made it”, financially? It’s something the average person does not think about it and it is the very reason they are average.

Firstly, money is neutral however your beliefs towards it aren’t. If you are to make real money, make it an absolute point to surround yourself with people who are already generating it. The law of synchronicity applies here and simply because we are the sum of the five closest people to us. Money itself has it’s own laws, and until you really learn them, understand them and begin to rewire your mindset to always and consistently think like a wealthy person, you will be stuck in the poverty trap FOREVER.

Most people never ever make a substantial amount of money for themselves with freedom attached, simply because they have all sorts of stories going on in the background when it comes to it. money-blogSubconsciously, society demonizes money and it most definitely demonizes being rich as something that is synonymous with being arrogant, snobbish, elitist, proud and those who look down on others. Make no mistake; yes there are rich folk that do indeed behave this way because money is only a magnifier of what is in your heart, on a larger level. It is socially ACCEPTABLE to live in poverty, to struggle and just to “get-by”. When your beliefs are along the lines of “rich people are greedy and dishonest” as well as “money is evil”, your subconscious is going to do EVERYTHING in it’s power to keep you away from “evil” (read: money). It is a challenging position to be in and you will often find, most people will DEFEND their poverty mindset of “it’s never enough” because the broken record playing in their mind, is all they have ever known and should they continue on the path they are, will ever know.

People with a poverty mind-set will complain about literally everything under the sun because complaining is mental masturbation in their mind. It gives them the illusion that something is being done, whereas in actual fact, it’s like being on a rocking horse. Just because it has motion, doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere. If you are to make money, Deciphering-Your-Money-Mindset-04-22-2014you need to address all the ways you are blocking it by having beliefs of greed, avarice and confusing, conflicting beliefs of having it and then not having it. One of the biggest ways we block our abundance flowing to us, is by not keeping track of the money, how much is coming in and going out. Money likes to be adored and appreciated and if you are not doing so, it just won’t show up at your door.

A lot of us have this either or mindset. Like oh “I’d choose love before money” and wonder why they are broke. I chose both. Did you ?

Wow! What an OUTSTANDING article written by the wonderful Nadia Arain!!! We were very impressed with her insight and thoughts. How about you? What did you think? Agree? Disagree? Loved it? Hated it? Share your thoughts below!

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, http://www.diamondhospitalityblog.com is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts/stories. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit http://www.diamondhospitalityservices.com to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

 

~About the Author~

Nadia Arain is a Heart Centric Business Woman and Spiritually Conscious Entrepreneur who is a partner in dynamic growth for Spas and Salons by using life and spa liberation to catapult your lifestyle from AVERAGE To AMAZING. She is a previous day spa owner, Published Author, Business Mentor and Copywriter, Founder of The Spapreneur Consulting : For the discerning Spa/Salon owner looking to upgrade into Spapreneurship–a magical land of ever flowing clients, windfall wealth and life liberation. Her published titles include The 21st Century Spartanite, Spa Marketing Success and His Commitment Blueprint.

Discover more of her magic for your spa at http://www.the-spapreneur.com today.

 

The Customer Service Manifesto: 10 Steps to Win Over Customers & Clients

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October 20, 2014

Always wanted to know the secrets to winning over clients and customers? Well want, no more! We have put together an invaluable slide show on just how to do that very thing! It is definitely not rocket science but it does require a self-evaluation.

Check it out….

Are there other tips that could be added to the list? Let us know what you think! Like, share, comment below.

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, http://www.diamondhospitalityblog.com is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts/stories. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit http://www.diamondhospitalityservices.com to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

The 10 Best Airport Terminals to Be Delayed In

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October 17, 2014

Top10Ok.
Picture this. You’ve been traveling all week and you are soooooo ready to go home, right? You worked hard or you played hard and now it’s time for you to chillax (that’s chill and relax, combined). You get to the airport, only to find out that your flight was either delayed or (GASP!) canceled. How do you feel about being stuck at an airport? Not great, huh?
Well maybe….just maybe……these 10 airports will convince you that it’s not such a bad thing after all!

 

 

 

Have you ever been stuck in an airport and came across an awesome terminal that could have made the list? Share it with us in the comment section below!

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!

~DHSI

If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, http://www.diamondhospitalityblog.com is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts/stories. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit http://www.diamondhospitalityservices.com to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

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