Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chouinard

Keith Chouinard

Director of Sales & Marketing, Hotel Viking

As Director of Sales & Marketing for Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island, Keith Chouinard is responsible for the hotelís sales and marketing efforts including promotions, strategic partnerships, and new business development. Mr. Chouinard joined Hotel Viking in December 2015, one month prior to the historic hotelís renovations and six months before the hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary. Since joining the team, Mr. Chouinard has developed strategic partnerships with local sporting events including the Newport International Polo Series; retail outlets such as Marc Allen Clothiers; and welcomed more than 20 online, print and broadcast media guests to the landmark hotel. Mr. Chouinardís career began in high school when he worked as a banquet server at Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA. While attending University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he quickly moved up to banquet manager. After earning his degree in restaurant and travel administration, he joined Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe. Mr. Chouinard then served as director of sales with the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, and then headed back East to take the role as Director of Business Development for Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod, MA. Prior to joining Hotel Viking, Mr. Chouinard was affiliated with the Hyatt Regency Newport where he significantly increased groups business resulting in a nomination for Director of Sales of the Year for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts nationwide. Mr. Chouinard earned the 2015 Director of Sales of the Year Award from Davidson Hotels & Resorts, the company that owns the Hyatt property in Newport. Mr. Chouinard, who serves on the Board of Discover Newport, brings more than 15 years of experience in hospitality sales to the Hotel Viking team. Please visit http://www.hotelviking.com for more information.

Mr. Chouinard can be contacted at 401-847-3300 or kchouinard@hotelviking.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.