Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Van Leunen

Diane Van Leunen

Director of Digital Marketing, Flip.to

Diane Van Leunen is the Director of Digital Marketing at Flip.to, the advocacy marketing platform that helps hotels reach, inspire and convert entirely new global audiences of travelers every day. Ms. Van Leunen began her career as a designer in advertising and branding. Soon after, she was propelled into the world of hospitality. She took a position in art direction at Plan A PR and Marketing, a public relations firm specializing in the B2B hotel technology space. Following agency life, Ms. Van Leunen moved client-side, tackling hotel marketing with a creative role on the corporate team at The Kessler Collection—a boutique hotel group that provides curated experiences to discerning travelers. In Ms. Van Leunen's role at Flip.to she leads the development of communication and brand strategies for the growing platform. Her unique background gives her the right mix of skills to make an impact across the entire organization, collaborating on a daily basis with the creative, marketing, sales and account management teams to drive success. In all, Ms. Van Leunen has spent over 8 years gaining intimate knowledge in global travel technology while being introduced to many of the best and brightest minds in the industry. She’s as passionate about learning as in her beginnings as a designer, and is today immersed in thoughtful product design and marketing on a world-class team of innovators. Her work has been published in Print Magazine’s Regional Design Annual and she has earned numerous industry accolades while also being named the Employee of the Year in 2016 at Flip.to. True to her roots in travel, her free time is spent exploring new destinations worldwide alongside friends and her furry, four-legged companion. Please visit http://www.flip.to for more information.

Ms. Van Leunen can be contacted at 321-234-2086 or dvanleunen@flip.to

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.