Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Walsh

Richard Walsh

Vice President of Business Development, Lodging Interactive

Richard Walsh graduated from Western Michigan University with his BA in English. He has completed some Masters studies at the University of Miami and Yale University. Mr. Walsh has spent a long and productive career working in sales and/or marketing for travel companies such as Trans World Airlines, Air France, Reed International and The Official Airline Guide. Previously, Mr. Walsh was President of Amadeus USA (a global distribution system), Wizcom (technology division of Avis Auto Rental) and founder and president of Innovata (travel content aggregator). Richard was the founder of CASMA, the Computerized Airline Sales & Marketing Association a global association of airlines and related marketing services. Mr. Walsh is currently the Vice President of Business Development for Lodging Interactive, a leading hospitality Internet and social media marketing agency. He lives in the Atlanta GA area and enjoys local sports teams, tennis, skiing and researching local historical sites.

Mr. Walsh can be contacted at 770-533-9787 or rjwalsh@lodginginteractive.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.