Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chua

Christopher Chua

Managing Director, BLINK Design Group

BLINK's managing director Christopher Chua finds deep satisfaction in seeing a design job through from concept to completion, and he relishes being a designer who can turn his hand to architecture in all its shapes and forms. "For me the thrill is being faced with a fresh challenge and the chance to apply my knowledge in different ways. From tented naturalist villas to cool urban chic hotels, from minimalist to opulent, every project is a signature within itself.” Mr. Chua’s intelligent understanding of space and his instinctive feel for design make him the most valued of creative talents: a highly skilled, unfettered yet disciplined mind. He is at one with his craft, living and breathing hotels and resorts to produce work that resonates and inspires. During nine years as an associate with Singapore’s eco.id, Mr. Chua worked on resorts at the farther reaches of luxury, including The Shangri-La Saadiyat Beach, Abu Dhabi; Nikki Beach Resort, Qatar; The Saladaeng Residences, Bangkok; and TAJ Vivanta resorts in Assam and Chennai. He has developed a deep understanding of the symbiosis between branding and design. Since joining BLINK, he has unleashed the full force of his creativity in India and China, and has been instrumental in the company's Shanghai office launch and subsequent rapid growth in China. Mr. Chua’s ability to develop relationships with clients also applies to his team, which totals almost 200 people in four studios from Bangkok to Singapore, New Delhi and Shanghai. He achieves results because he motivates those around him, inspiring them with his vision, leading by example and developing a strong bond with existing clients while being instrumental in winning new ones.

Mr. Chua can be contacted at +65 9273 4098 or christopher.c@blinkdg.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.