Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Smith

Jenna Smith

Vice President of Revenue Management, First Hospitality Group

Jenna Smith has been a part of First Hospitality Group for more than a decade. Starting as a guest services representative in 2004 at the Hampton Inn Ann Arbor North. Ms. Smith has been on a fast track moving up through the company ever since. Having served in a wide variety of positions from sales roles to general manager, Ms. Smith ultimately was elevated to a regional revenue management position before assuming her current position as vice president of revenue management. With a predictive index analyst certification, she is responsible for the delivery of hotel revenue management support for multiple brands and leadership of regional support team, as well as development and execution of effective strategies to achieve market share growth. Over the course of her tenure with First Hospitality Group, she has worked tirelessly on our behalf and our investors. With the state of our industry constantly changing and evolving, Ms. Smith ensures that First Hospitality Group has a voice in the growth and development of all the brands that we manage. An expert in managing high volume demand and well versed in understanding both short and long-term goals, Ms. Smith graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelorís degree in business administration and previously served as a mentor at DePaul Universityís School of Hospitality Management. First Hospitality Group, headquartered in Chicago, operates hotels of every type and size, from historic rehabs to urban markets. Their strength lies in market knowledge and creating a training culture where one can work smart to succeed and have fun. Please visit http://www.fhginc.com for more information.

Ms. Smith can be contacted at 214-855-6000 or jsmith@fhginc.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.