Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Sohn

Oliver Sohn

Co-Founder, Seventh Art Media

Oliver Sohn is a practiced real estate investment & development executive with extensive hospitality and marketing industry experience. He is a co-founding partner of Seventh Art Real Estate and Seventh Art Media (both under parent company Seventh Art Group) where he focuses on social media based business development and revenue management strategies. Since joining Seventh Art Group in 2006, Mr. Sohn successfully completed investment and development assignments on 20+ international deals in excess of total $3 billion, including investment strategy, business development, development strategy management, and marketing & sales. Seventh Art Groupís international client base includes companies such us Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, Starwood, Trump International, Dubai World, Industrial Building Corporation (IBC), Plaza Hotel New York/Elad Properties and many more. Under Mr. Sohnís co-leadership, Seventh Art Group has grown to an international practice with 150 worldwide hospitality and real estate projects, located in 22 cities across 4 continents and worth over US$7BN. In January of 2011 Mr. Sohn joined with Douglas OíReilly to launch Seventh Art Media under the Seventh Art Group to focus on helping hotel brands and properties leverage social media as a means for sales & marketing, PR and customer service benefits.

Mr. Sohn can be contacted at 212-431-8289 or osohn@seventhartgroup.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.