The Kessler Collection and LRA Worldwide Partner on Quality Assurance Initiative to measure the “WOW” in the Guest Experience

October 19, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
ORLANDO, Florida/HORSHAM, Pennsylvania; October 19, 2007 – The Kessler Collection, the luxury boutique hotel portfolio owned by hotelier Richard C. Kessler, has partnered with LRA Worldwide, Inc. on a unique quality assurance audit program designed to measure how willing and able Kessler associates are to go above and beyond the expected to “WOW” the guest. In addition, the audit protocol that LRA and Kessler have developed will help Kessler measure the delivery of its signature brand promise – the Kessler Points of Distinction - at its properties in Georgia, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico.

The properties in The Kessler Collection are perhaps best known for their ability to balance the sense of luxury and “at-home” comfort, as well as their art-inspired atmosphere. Richard Kessler is an avid art collector and decorates each hotel with selections from his vast personal collection, imbuing each with a distinct “personality.” As a company, Kessler has also embraced the mission of exceeding guest expectations, which is embodied in the company mantra of “The answer is ‘Yes’…now what is the question?” With this in mind, Kessler was seeking a partner that could deliver a program with the flexibility to measure the guest experience with an eye for the individual property “personality” and the willingness of a property associate to fulfill an out of the ordinary guest request, as well as the rigor to assess the delivery of a common set of Kessler standards across the portfolio.

“LRA’s approach to quality assurance meshes perfectly with our needs as we try to grow the Kessler brand,” explained Stuart Newmark, Senior Vice President of Operations for The Kessler Collection. “Each site visit generates a detailed analyst’s report based on the nuances of that particular property. LRA’s professional consultants provide us with insights into operations and service levels, as well as the distinct personal touches that make a property uniquely ‘Kessler.’ We’ve been able to use the reports very proactively to identify opportunities for coaching and to apply some industry best practices.”

LRA’s Quality Assurance practice works with seven of the top 10 hotel companies in the world, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts and the Hyatt Hotel Corporation, as well as many smaller companies with a boutique offering similar to Kessler’s. In all, LRA conducts nearly 13,000 site visits and evaluations each year. In addition to its lodging clientele, LRA provides QA services to industry leaders in sports (Troon Golf, the PGA TOUR), Conference Centers (ARAMARK), the National Park Service (Yosemite National Park, Kennedy Space Center), Gaming (Churchill Downs, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos) and Travel (The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey).

“Our Quality Assurance practice is well know for the large corporate programs that we run with Starwood, Hyatt, Choice, Wyndham Worldwide and others,” said John Roberto, LRA’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the QA Practice. “But we also have a team of expert, highly-skilled professionals executing programs for smaller brands, boutique properties and niche offerings. I think Kessler recognized the personalized service and expert insight we could bring not only to their QA program, but to the growth of their company.”

About LRA Worldwide, Inc:
LRA Worldwide, Inc. is a leading consulting, organizational development and research company that specializes in Customer Experience Management (CEM). LRA helps companies and brands design and deliver the optimal customer experience across all key touch points using an integrated suite of services that measure and improve service quality, customer satisfaction, employee performance, loyalty, customer advocacy and profitability. LRA specializes in “operationalizing the brand” – turning brand promise and customer strategy into operational reality. LRA’s CEM practice areas include Customer Experience Strategy Consulting, Standards Development & Content Management, Organizational Development & Training, Research and Quality Assurance & Mystery Shopping; these are either deployed together in a strategic manner to continually monitor and improve the customer experience or deployed individually to address a specific tactical client need.

LRA’s clients include some of the world’s leading companies and brands, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, the PGA TOUR, Albertsons Supermarkets, the NBA and First Niagara Financial Group. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at

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