Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Kimball

Gary Kimball

President, Kimball Communications

Gary Kimball is president of Kimball Communications, a public relations agency he founded in 1995, specializing in hospitality and a wide range of other industries. Conveniently located in the Lehigh Valley of Eastern Pennsylvania, with easy access to New York City, Philadelphia, northern New Jersey and Bucks County, his agency delivers what todayís media look for: well-told, engaging stories shared through print, broadcast, online and social media. Mr. Kimball has 30 years experience in public relations and is a recognized expert in crisis communications planning and response. Before founding Kimball Communications, Mr. Kimball served in senior public relations roles, including his position from 1988-1994 as director of corporate communications for a $3 billion financial services company. There he led an award-winning public relations, investor relations and crisis communications program. A former journalist, Mr. Kimball has a masterís degree in journalism from Boston University and a bachelorís degree in government from Colby College.

Mr. Kimball can be contacted at 610-559-7585 or gkimball@kimballpr.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.