Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson

Senior Public Relations & Marketing Manager, American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute

Elizabeth M. Johnson is senior public relations & marketing manager for the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI). She has worked for the Educational Institute for 15 years in a variety of communications, public relations, and marketing roles. During that time, she has written numerous articles about hospitality training, education, and professional certification for several hospitality trade publications. Ms. Johnson is the co-author (with Bridgette Redman) of two Educational Institute textbooks Spa: A Comprehensive Introduction and Retail Management for Spas, and contributed to the development of the Supervisory Skill Builders for the Spa Industry workbook series. Ms. Johnson was also a contributing writer for the Educational Institute’s case study series. More recently, she has become involved in the Institute’s social media and electronic marketing, and also assisted with the development of one of EI’s new online components for hospitality management textbooks—providing voice-over narration for the Managing Housekeeping Operations online component. Ms. Johnson holds a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Ms. Johnson can be contacted at 517-318-2359 or EJohnson@ahla.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.