Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Dunphy

Maggy Dunphy

Spa Director, Stowe Mountain Lodge

I grew up in a family of seven children. Believe it or not – I was quite the tomboy – most certainly not a spa girl. And each and every day I had one goal – to beat the boys in everything. And I usually did. It wasn’t very helpful in my teenage years as I was concerned more with beating the boys, than kissing them. Sports became an outlet for me and I attribute my drive for perfection, ambition to win, passion for excellence, and my unique leadership style on the coaches and athletes that believed in me and taught me the principles of teamwork. I began my career in hospitality as a massage therapist in Vail, escaping the East Coast and management responsibilities to become a free spirit therapist in the mountains of Colorado. That didn’t last long as leading people was in my blood. I was in the right place at the right time – and have grown up in the spa industry. My first Spa Director job paid me a whopping $14,000, but I received a small commission on every treatment performed. I turned a janitor closet into a massage room, so we wouldn’t turn away the business. It was definitely not about the “experience” in those days. So much has changed in the spa industry and I am blessed to have grown up with Destination Hotels as my “bus driver”. I knew I was on the right bus! Please visit www.stowemountainlodge.com for more information.

Ms. Dunphy can be contacted at 802-760-4703 or mdunphy@destinationhotels.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.