Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Meghji

Karim Meghji

Head Of Product, BookingSuite (USA), Inc.

Karim Meghji is a passionate executive and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience building successful products and businesses in consumer software and online services. Among other specialties, his areas of expertise include user interface and user experience management, online marketing and customer acquisition, technical operations management, and strategic, business and product planning. Most recently, he was Chief Product Officer and VP of Engineering at buuteeq, Inc., a leading software provider in the hospitality industry. Upon its acquisition by the Priceline Group, it became integrated into the Booking.com family of companies, and Karim took on his current position as the Head of Product at BookingSuite (USA), Inc. In both of these roles, he has led the effort to build cloud-based SaaS software and related services that help global accommodations providers of every size build an online presence, increase bookings, and improve everyday workflow. Prior to his current role, Karim was Vice President of Products and Engineering at Yapta, an early-stage, venture-funded startup focused on helping leisure and corporate travelers save money. At Yapta, he led a major B2C to B2B product pivot and delivered MasterCard PriceAssure to market, a PCI-compliant web-based service for price tracking. Before his role at Yapta, he founded and bootstrapped his own startup, HelpHive, which made it easier for homeowners to find trusted recommendations for local home service professionals. Early in his career, Karim spent 10 years at Real Networks where he served as a key member of the executive team in various product leadership roles, including on Rhapsody (Realís music subscription service), on Realís advertising business and on their flagship RealPlayer product. Karim holds a BS in Computer Science from San Jose State University. Please visit www.suite.booking.com for more information.

Mr. Meghji can be contacted at 206-910-1890 or karim.meghji@booking.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.