Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Reitknecht

Robert Reitknecht

Founder, Robert Reitknecht

Robert Reitknecht's philosophy about customer service can be summed up as the following: Companies must live and breathe service excellence every day. A veteran customer loyalty professional and guest experience expert for over two decades, Mr. Reitknecht has provided service-focused insights to a number of Fortune 100/500 companies while holding positions as General Manager, Director of Operations, Regional Human Resources Manager, and Director of Fitness Operations to name a few.

He has worked primarily in the hospitality and guest relations verticals, crafting cultures of excellence by spearheading quality standard initiatives, process improvements, and hands-on training and development programs. Mr. Reitknecht has held many customer-facing positions throughout his career, working at the AvalonBay Communities; Town Sports International; Costco Wholesale, Inc.; and Dolce Hotels & Resorts, among other companies.

His promise to help clients by driving their internal teams to go beyond today's expected level of service to create a "wow experience" is driven by his passion for professional development. He has completed The Ritz-Carlton Executive Education Series and several performance and operational excellence leadership courses throughout his career to further maximize operations and profits. He is currently a board member of the National Diversity Council, and has been awarded several accolades that honor hospitality leaders who exemplify legendary customer service. Most recently, he led a series of customer experience training seminars across Southern CT.

My goal is simple: paint the picture for customer service excellence, find the right strokes, colors and canvas, and design a customer service masterpiece. In painting the picture for employees, my clients have a better understanding of their unique functions and what is expected of them to ignite and deliver legendary service excellence.

Please visit http://www.robertreitknecht.com for more information.

Mr. Reitknecht can be contacted at +1 203-894-9412 or robert@robertreitknecht.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.