Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ryan

Oliver Ryan

CEO, Count.It Labs

Oliver Ryan is founder and CEO of Count.It Labs. He is also the co-founder of Apartment Therapy Media (2004), one of the top lifestyle media networks online reaching over 20 million unique visitors per month. Immediately before founding Count.It, Mr. Ryan launched and ran SocialWorkout.com, an early fitness culture blog and interactive community. From 2009 to 2013, Social Workout hosted over 40,000 interactive fitness challenges with partners such as AOL/Huffington Post, Everyday Health, Greatist, Equinox, and Yoga Journal. The company also partnered with Whole Foods Market to develop and launch Full Spoon, a workplace wellness service launched in Norther California and successfully sold to LinkedIn and Tesla Motors. The Count.It technology, product design, and business model grew out of all of these experiences. Prior to diving into the world of "social fitness," Ryan launched Apartment Therapy with his brother while also covering technology as a writer/reporter at Fortune magazine. In an earlier life, he lived in Silicon Valley and was the Director of Business and Technology content for Knight Ridder Digital and onetime General Manager of SiliconValley.com. Ryan is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. He earned his BA in Physics, with honors, from Wesleyan University. Please visit https://www.countit.com for more information.

Mr. Ryan can be contacted at 917-214-2073 or oliver@countit.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.