Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Pizzinato

Elizabeth Pizzinato

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications , Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Elizabeth Pizzinato is responsible for global digital marketing, social media, marketing communications, public relations, corporate communications and reputation management on behalf of the Four Seasons brand. With an ever-expanding portfolio of hotels in more than 35 countries, building the brand’s reputation and leadership in the luxury sector through strategic marketing activities is both challenging and rewarding. “I started my career in retail operations many years ago, and gained a real appreciation for the work and attention to detail that make great customer service possible,” says Ms. Pizzinato. “Four Seasons, with its combination of quality, top talent and a passion for excellence, is a dream brand to promote, because it truly does bring the best to bear in creating memorable experiences for our guests the world over; experiences that are rooted in an exceptional service culture.” Her scope of responsibility encompasses the company’s brand-level communications activities in interactive, digital, advertising, promotions, direct marketing, and the Four Seasons magazine and newsletters. Ms. Pizzinato also oversees strategic media relations outreach; crisis management; corporate social responsibility initiatives and reputation management. Ms. Pizzinato joined Four Seasons in 1999 from Hill & Knowlton Canada, where she was Vice President and Practice Leader for the Marketing Communications group. Prior to Hill & Knowlton, she was an Account Director with Strategic Objectives Inc., an award-winning consumer media relations boutique agency. Ms. Pizzinato began her marketing career managing media and employee communications for a women’s wear retail chain. Ms. Pizzinato graduated from Ryerson University with a business degree in retail management. Before focusing on communications and public relations, she worked in operations as a sales trainer and sales manager in the retail sector. When she’s not at the airport suffering through another security line, Ms. Pizzinato lives in Toronto with her husband. Her favourite pastimes include cooking up a storm for family and friends, reading the Sunday papers, and spending time in the garden.

Ms. Pizzinato can be contacted at 416-441-4440 or elizabeth.pizzinato@fourseasons.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.