Editorial Board   

Mr. Rush

Rob Rush

CEO, LRA Worldwide

Rob Rush is President & CEO of LRA Worldwide, Inc. a leading consulting and research company that specializes in Customer Experience Management (CEM). Rob co-founded the company two decades ago, and has helped grow it to its position as a leader in CEM consulting. Based outside of Philadelphia, LRA relies on an integrated suite of services designed to help organizations measure and improve service quality, employee performance, customer satisfaction, retention and profitability. LRA's service offerings include customer experience strategy and design, customer and employee research, the design and development of corporate standards and practices, customer service training, and quality assurance. LRA has deep sector expertise in the hospitality, leisure, sports, entertainment, and travel industries, and is exploring emerging sectors such as automotive, financial services, and healthcare. Clients include the PGA TOUR, Six Flags, Churchill Downs, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, MGM Mirage, Hyatt Hotels, the ARAMARK Corporation, NetJets and Quest Diagnostics. Rob is active in the American Hotel & Lodging Association and was recently interviewed by editors of The Wall Street Transcript for its CEO Spotlight Series. In addition to serving on the Hospitality Forum Editorial Board, Rob is a frequent contributor to leading marketing and industry trade publications such as Brandweek, Golf Magazine, CRM Magazine, US Banker, Resort & Recreation and Casino Journal. Recently, Rob was a featured speaker at the North American Conference on Customer Management, the National Institute of Golf Management and InfoShare 2005. Mr. Rush is a graduate of Cornell University. You can visit the LRA website at www.lraworldwide.com

Mr. Rush can be contacted at 215-449-0301 or rob.rush@lraworldwide.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.