Editorial Board   

Prof. Ferry

Steven Ferry

Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers

Steven Ferry was born and raised in England, where he worked in education, hospitality, and private service before moving to the USA to continue in private serviceóduring which time, in 1990, he established the first international butler association, The International Association of Traditional Butlers, and wrote the first modern book for the profession, The British Butler's Bible.

Prof. Ferry took a break from service in the mid-90's to focus on his other passions, establishing an award-winning photographic and writing company that produced a wide range of educational, PR, marketing, editorial and fictional products for most major US publishers and many corporations, including authoring 20 books and hundreds of articles. At the turn of the century, he found himself being asked to consult and train, first in the private sector and then in hospitality, based on publication of three books on butling.

At the request of peers, he founded the International Institute of Modern Butlers in 2004 to set and raise standards for the profession. He championed bringing the butler profession into the international community of the 21st Century and bringing the role to life, at a time when it was entrenched in tradition and being an object of interest as opposed to a vital force that could greatly expand service offerings in all service industries, hospitality in particular.

Professor Ferry is author of best-selling texts, such as the two-volume Serving the Wealthy† and†Hotel†Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators. He has helped introduce several innovations and new services to the hospitality industry, including the hotel-butler rating system, the spa butler, and an international black-book database of guests from hell. He currently advocates for the profession, and, together with the Institute staff, trains butlers and other employees in luxury hotels and resorts, private villas and estates, and other service industries around the world, specializing in uniquely effective soft-skill training that builds relationships with guests, as well as bringing fresh and astute perspectives to the challenges of hospitality management.

Prof. Ferry can be contacted at 813-354-2734 or stevenferry@modernbutlers.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.