Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Arner

Michael Arner

Chief Technology Officer, RoamingAround.com

Michael Arner is the CTO and a principal at RoamingAround.com, an industry and thought leader for location-based services with particular expertise in Hospitality. His team is comprised of veteran superstars from Mobile Payments and Mobile Carrier Applications. The RoamingAround platform is the most sophisticated, most flexible, most comprehensive solution currently on the market for hyper-personalized, location-contexted, dynamic mobile engagement and machine learning. It is also one of the very few to focus on the particular opportunities offered in Hospitality. Prior to RoamingAround, Mr. Arner was the co-founder and CTO of ROAM Data, a leading mCommerce platform provider. ROAM Data grew from zero to a $26M annualized run rate before being majority-sold for $120M to Ingenico. ROAM turns merchants’ mobile devices into secure point of sale (POS) terminals and turns the mobile marketing channel into a mobile sales channel by enabling secure commerce in mobile applications with convenient mobile checkout. The company won the 2010 Technology Innovations Award at ETA. Mr. Arner was also the CTO and co-founder of Marbles, the world’s first thin-client mobile software company focused on enterprise mobile workforce applications. Marbles was also the winner of multiple innovation awards. A longtime interdisciplinarian, Mr. Arner received his B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and his Ph.D. in English Literature from Boston University. He has published essays on art and technology in both academic and popular presses. Please visit http://www.roamingaround.com for more information.

Mr. Arner can be contacted at 978-777-8787 or marner@roamingaround.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.