Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cornell

Robert M. Cornell

Senior Vice President of Development, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

With more than 35 years experience in the hotel, airline and travel industries, Mr. Robert M. Cornell serves as Senior Vice President of Development for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Cornell joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 1994 as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. From 2002 to 2004, he served as Managing Director of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand. A recognized expert in Quality Assurance, he also directs the company’s award-winning Global Standards of Excellence™ quality assurance program. In 2006, he was instrumental in the development of Preferred Residences a new luxury residential brand created in partnership with Interval, and, in 2007, he led the acquisition team for Historic Hotels of America. Previously, he had been a Co-Founder and acted as Senior Vice President of the former Sterling Hotels brand. He also spent 12 years with Four Seasons Hotels, LTD, serving as Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Planning, Vice President of Field Marketing and at the property level, Resident Manager of the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel in Seattle and Director of Marketing at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago. Mr. Cornell also held sales, promotion and marketing positions with Swissair and American Express travel. Mr. Cornell received his certificates in Hotelierie as an operations apprentice working at hotels in Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Morocco. He also attended Portland State College in Portland Oregon, The French Institute in New York and more recently earned a Certificate in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago. Please visit http://www.preferredhotels.com for more information.

Mr. Cornell can be contacted at 312-542-9205 or rcornell@preferredhotels.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.