The Power of Follow Up – High Tech or High Touch?

We all deal with technology daily, whether it is one of dozens of social media outlets, responding to a guest review, using an app as either a consumer or service provider or simply emails.

To those of us over 40, we may recall when we were promised computers were going to make our lives simpler and shorten our work week.   While we likely agree that technology has increased our capabilities, I do not know many of us that have found the work week to be anything but more complex, as those potential capabilities have added many more duties and activities.

This column is a snap shot message – the power of follow up.

Like most of us, I have more than one computer and my 17″ laptop Dell failed for a 2nd time over a 4 year period. Complete freeze – would not boot, and luckily for me, it was a back up unit and I had opted for  a service plan with Data Doctors after the 1st failure.   They analyzed the problem, offered several solutions and two days later returned it to me with a minimal bill for parts.   It is now almost completely rebuilt and things seem to be in order.

The follow up came today with a phone call from the tech who serviced my unit.   Without prompting, he called me to see if it was working as it needed to be.   This was a highly unusual event – the follow up from email evaluations accompanies most tech situations, but someone taking the time to reach out PERSONALLY was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

The cost to Data Doctors?    $000.00

The benefit to me?  The sense that someone actually cared about how their quality of work affected me!

Which was this – high tech or high touch?  The answer is both.

In hospitality, we need to remember this fact – guests want to be appreciated and valued, and that includes the sincere, genuine attention that cannot be scripted or mandated by a brand standard or rule.  It needs to come from us – the hotel owner, manager and associate!

There are many ways to identify those unique touch points, and we can help you find them.

About John J. Hogan  

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.

He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.

Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at , including



He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.

Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

Contact: John Hogan /              602-799-5375

Recommended Reading from Hospitality Educators | Talk Like TED – This book should be required reading in every business program at the University level

ted  download

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds

It is often said that fear of public speaking is one of mankind’s greatest fears.  As a professional educator and trainer who has given several thousand classes, talks, seminars and presentations, I understand that sense of angst that precedes appearing before a new crowd.  No one wants to embarrass themselves and everyone recognizes that instant global communication today creates instant sound bites – and we want ours to be great.

American author and keynote speaker Carmine Gallo has taken a phenomenon from the digital age – You Tube – and written a marvelous book on how the most successful speakers in the world deliver their messages.

The book is short – 255 pages, including notes – and is divided into 9 chapters that all make sense as they flow from one “ah-ha” moment to another.

The nine chapters are grouped into three segments and each chapter has illustrations that are to the point and clear as they explain their focused message:


  1. Unleash the Master Within
  2. Master the Art of Storytelling
  3. Have a Conversation


  1. Teach me Something New
  2. Deliver Jaw- dropping Moments
  3. Lighten Up


  1. Stick to the 18 Minute Rile
  2. Paint a Mental Picture with Multisensory Experiences
  3. Stay in Your Lane

Examples from the above chapters include:

  •  Howard Schultz and who shares that he wasn’t passionate about coffee, but that he wanted a 3rd place between home and work, where employees would be treated with respect and offer exceptional customer service. (p 19)  We all know about Starbucks.
  •  Storytelling illustrations from well known and previously unknown speakers who share their messages in just about any topic by building empathy and making it real and human (chapter 2)
  •  Collin Powell’s moving conversational approach regardless of crowd size (p.92-94)
  •  Understanding that while we all know there is much more detail in any message we hear, society has become so information overloaded that we need what is called The Twitter Friendly Headline (p.130-132). Hook the listener and they will pay attention and want more
  •   Bill Gates released mosquitoes in a talk about how disease is transmitted.  While only a tiny percentage of the talk, the jaw-dropping experience made the talk memorable and more (p.136-138)
  •  Comedians tell jokes – sometimes they are very funny and other times, well – we know.  Using anecdotes, observations and personal stories is not the same as telling jokes and is almost always more successful. (Chapter 6)

While sound bites capture only a highlight (or low point), the TED 18 minute rule is an essential part of forcing speakers to focus.  I hope to be invited to give a University commencement speech one day soon, and I would follow the late Steve Jobs model of 3 sub-topics in his DO WHAT YOU LOVE 2005 speech (p. 199)

Al Gore and Bono are certainly far apart on the presentation scheme of life, but note pages 210 and 218 to see how they made their messages  come alive and real

Finally, chapter 9 says it all on p. 240 – be authentic, open and transparent.

Talk Like TED – This book should be required reading in every business program at the University level AND for any professional who wants to improve communication skills.  I cannot say enough good things about it!

Highly Recommended!           Dr. John Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO

Kathleen Hogan MBA CHO and Dr. John Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO are the co-founders of, which was  created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses

 Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013    John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283, John Hogan 602-799-5375 or


Recommended Reading from | Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

Insightful – this makes one think

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

This is not a new book, and there are literally 100s of reviews so there is not a need to try to be all revealing in an assessment of the plot or flow of the book.

This book is exceptional for us when we find ourselves in a place when we need to renew our focus and direction. For example, p 104 has a dialogue about overhauling ourselves. It identifies that we are a “tangled mass of twisted circuits and outmoded programs…..” In these days of information overload (and much of it of questionable value) , that assessment has merit – IF we stop to think about where we are in life individually.

The movie (which included one of Nick Nolte’s best performances ever) was good, but the details in the book are much deeper and allow the reader to pay attention to the feelings and discussions in our own head.

Page 166 shares a fable about two monks on a journey. In less than one page, there is a lesson about what causes so many of us unnecessary trouble – A LACK OF FOCUS. The lesson is to keep our attention in the present moment – this does not mean to stop planning ahead, but to focus on the NOW in order to reach our goals.

Well done! Highly recommended

Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CHO
Hospitality Educators
Hogan Hospitality

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance. or 602-799-5375 was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel’s revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 2,000 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, is the #1 independent website for hotel owners and managers.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More  

KEYS TO SUCCESS  is the umbrella title for my ongoing programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE™  and Principles for Success.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at   anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense,

 John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant.


He is available as a keynote speaker and seminar leader and has led more than 4,800 programs in his career at many hospitality industry events and classes. He is CEO and Co-Founder of , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.   offers a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.
Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations.