Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Rondeau

Darlene Rondeau

Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising, Leonardo

Darlene Rondeau has more than 25 years of sales and marketing leadership focused on providing solutions for Fortune 1000 Companies, primarily in the travel industry. Currently, Rondeau is Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising for Leonardo. In this role, Ms. Rondeau has the objective of heightening awareness of new digital visual storytelling techniques that motive consumers throughout their travel shopping journey. Leonardo is an technology company serving the global hospitality industry. Leonardo provides e-marketers at hotel brands, management companies, hotel properties and travel websites with technology solutions that improve the way they present their hotels online to travel shoppers. Formerly at Leonardo, Ms. Rondeau held the position of Vice President, Hotels, The Americas. Ms. Rondeau previously served as Vice-President Sales and Marketing for G2 SwitchWorks, a travel technology company that integrates its private network of airlines and other supplier content into a web based single point of sales solution for Travel Companies. Prior executive roles include Vice President for Sabre Integrated Media, the largest access portal to the world’s travelers as well as serving as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Agresso Travel Industry Solutions; a Netherlands based software provider of ERP solutions. Ms. Rondeau was with Sabre and its former parent, AMR, since 1979. Other positions with the company included Director, Airline Distribution; Director, National Accounts, Manager; Canadian Division Sales & Service; Regional Manager, Business Travel Solutions, and special assignments in Europe and Hong Kong. Her international experience contributes to the diversity and adaptability with which Ms. Rondeau conducts business. Over the last 2 decades, Ms. Rondeau’s client list includes worldwide brands such as American Airlines, AT&T, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Disney, General Electric, Southwest Airlines, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, The Mark Travel Corporation and USA Today. Ms. Rondeau earned her degree in Travel and Tourism from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. She is a frequent speaker at industry events including HSMAI, IHG Owners Association, University of North Texas Hospitality School and Eye for Travel. Additionally, she hosts regularly scheduled educational webinars on the subject of digital storytelling for the hospitality industry, along with exclusive presentations for the world’s top brands.

Ms. Rondeau can be contacted at 416-593-6634 or darlene.rondeau@leonardo.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.