Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bankoski

Linda Bankoski

Co-Owner & Managing Director, SpaQuality LLC

Linda Bankoski is co-owner and Managing Director of Education and Assessment of SpaQuality LLC, a company that has provided a roadmap to authentic performance excellence for spas through quality system standards, education, assessment and certification since 2004. Ms. Bankoski is the co-author of The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM, which provides a framework for spas to create effective and efficient spa operations that result in consistent delivery of excellent spa services, guest and staff loyalty, as well as business success. The inspiration of The Standards comes from internationally accepted quality system standards used by other industries including ISO 9000 (international quality management systems), ISO 14000 (environmental management standards), the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program in the United States, the Canada Awards for Excellence from the National Quality Institute in Canada, the EFQM Excellence Award in Europe, OSHA (US health and safety), FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (US), TedQual (tourism education quality), JCAHO (US healthcare organization standards), and more. Basic concepts from these standards along with years of spa experience were combined, translated, enhanced and organized into a complete spa management system that provides spas with what is necessary to achieve long-term success. While created for spas, the key concepts provided in The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM can be applied to the entire hospitality industry including hotels, resorts, cruise lines, clubs, restaurants, theme parks and more. Now in their 5th edition, The Standards have been sold to spas in 28 countries. Ms. Bankoski co-created and co-teaches Building and Sustaining High Quality Systems for Spas, a six-week, on-line course for the University of California - Irvine Extension's Spa and Hospitality Management Certificate Program, which uses The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM for the textbook. Ms. Bankoski is a quality expert with 30+ years of experience leading, coaching, consulting, and helping organizations and businesses in a wide variety of industries succeed and thrive. She is people-and goal-oriented and motivated by opportunities to learn, encourage and inspire others. Ms. Bankoski has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a healthcare professional, corporate trainer, customer advocate, market researcher, culture change pioneer and business advisor. She served on the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for five years and looks forward to helping spas attain this prestigious award in the future. Ms. Bankoski is a professional speaker and was chair of the local section of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). She has been a Good Manufacturing Practices Auditor (FDA regulations) for 25+ years and an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor, RAB Certified Quality Systems Lead Auditor and a Certified Lead Assessor (ISO 9001) for over 15 years. Ms. Bankoski is past president of the Board of Directors for the Delaware Quality Consortium, Inc. (Delaware Quality Award). She was an adjunct professor in the Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Delaware and a lead instructor in the Quality Management Certificate. She taught courses in quality management and organizational improvement. She developed and taught courses on the ISO 9000 standard, quality system auditing and problem solving for the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Ms. Bankoski can be contacted at 302-426-0274 or bankoski@voicenet.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.