Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. McGuire

Kelly McGuire

Vice President, Advanced Analytics, Wyndham Destination Network

Dr. Kelly McGuire is Vice President, Advanced Analytics at Wyndham Destination Networks where she leads a team of scientists and developers that build custom analytical solutions for Wyndham's vacation rental business, as well as RCI's exchange market. She is an analytics evangelist, helping hospitality and gaming businesses realize the value from big data and advanced analytics initiatives, to build a culture of fact based decision making. Her first book, "Hotel Pricing in a Social World", was recently published by Wiley books. Prior to joining Wyndham, Dr. McGuire lead SAS's Services Industry Global Practice, a team of domain experts in hospitality, gaming, travel, transportation, communications, media, entertainment and the mid-market. Internally at SAS, she was responsible for setting the strategic direction for the practice and defining the industry portfolio and messaging for her industries. Before taking on this role, she was the industry marketing manager for Hospitality and Gaming at SAS, responsible for the outbound messaging regarding SAS's Hospitality and Gaming capabilities. She also worked with the joint IDeaS and SAS product management team, gathering requirements for ancillary revenue management solutions such as function space, spa and food and beverage. Kelly was also responsible for defining requirements and creating the market strategy for SAS Revenue Management and Price Optimization Analytics, which is the analytics engine for IDeaS G3 RMS Dr. McGuire has a BS from Georgetown University and a MMH and PhD in Revenue Management from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, where she studied with renowned revenue management researcher, Dr. Sherri Kimes. Her research has been published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Journal of Pricing and Revenue Management, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research and the Journal of Service Management. She is also a frequent contributor to industry publications, speaker at industry conferences and was co-author of the SAS/CHR blog "The Analytic Hospitality Executive". Her latest stream of research, with co-author Breffni Noone, Associate Professor, Penn State, deals with the influence of user generated content on consumer reaction to price during hotel room purchases.

Dr. McGuire can be contacted at 973-753-6411 or Kelly.McGuire@rci.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.