Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hepditch

Duane Hepditch

President & CEO, Guestfolio

Duane Hepditch is an innovator within the hospitality software industry. Seeing a void in the guest service transaction, Mr. Hepditch co-founded Guestfolio, the "world’s leading hotel CRM” recognized by the World Travel Awards in 2014. His company is growing rapidly throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has the privilege to work with hotels such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Brownsword Hotels, Six Senses Resorts & Spas and many other unique boutique and resort properties around the world. Mr. Hepditch’s passion for travel and guest service motivated him to co-found Guestfolio in 2008 and in turn reach his goal to provide solutions for hoteliers so they may better service and learn from their guests throughout the travel journey. Guestfolio is a hotel marketing platform that drives guest engagement, retention and conversion throughout the travel journey. Mr. Hepditch’s mission for Guestfolio is to personalize the travel experience for guests and provide insights and tools that build lasting brand loyalty for his customers. By working with hotels world-wide Guestfolio is able to capture valuable data on guest behaviour and trends and leverage that for his customers in ways they never thought were possible. Mr. Hepditch resides in Whistler British Columbia, Canada. He is the Chair of Whistler.com, a subsidiary of Tourism Whistler and was a board member of Tourism Whistler for 4 years. Whistler is one of the leading resort destinations of the world and was home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. His role at Tourism Whistler was to represent the commercial group of companies within the resort and provide input on global advertising and marketing initiatives. Mr. Hepditch is passionate for business dialogue and small business incubation. He has owned and sold 2 internet related companies since 2000.

Mr. Hepditch can be contacted at 604-932-2510 or duane@guestfolio.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.