Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Braum

Roberta Braum

Director of Product Management, Payments, Agilysys

Roberta Braum is the director of product management for payments at Agilysys, a leading technology company that provides innovative point-of-sale, property management, inventory and procurement, workforce management, analytics, document management and mobile and wireless solutions and services to the hospitality industry. Roberta began her career at Apple, where she served as a technical lead designing file server systems. She also has also held management positions at IMDb, where she oversaw subscription services for entertainment professionals, and at Amazon, where she helped develop a payment plan service for the company’s ordering systems. Prior to joining Agilysys, she served as director of product management at Array Health, where she designed a purchasing decision support system, developed a product and sales roadmap and supervised program and product management teams. At Agilysys, Roberta manages the product strategy and roadmap for the company’s payments products, including the groundbreaking rGuest® Pay solution, the Agilysys payment gateway that enables complete and secure payment processing. She also addresses the challenges that new payment technologies pose to the hospitality industry and develops strategic solutions that enable a seamless guest experience for Agilysys’ next-generation point-of-sale and property management customers. Roberta serves as a thought leader in the areas of payment technologies, data security and EMV readiness. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in engineering and computer science from Dartmouth College, a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Master of Business Administration degree from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Please visit http://www.agilysys.com/ for more information.

Ms. Braum can be contacted at 877-369-6208 or roberta.braum@agilysys.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.