Editorial Board   

Ms. Knutson

Bonnie Knutson

Professor, The School of Hospitality Business/MSU

Bonnie J. Knutson is a professor in The School of Hospitality Business in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Widely known as an authority on emerging lifestyle trends and innovative marketing strategies, she often consults with business leaders who want to understand and take advantage of changing consumer demands.

Dr. Knutson's work has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and on PBS and CNN. She has also had numerous articles appear in industry, business, and academic publications. With her wit and entertaining style, Dr. Knutson is a frequent speaker for executive education as well as business and industry meetings, workshops, and seminars.

She has been a featured presenter for the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, Meeting Professionals International, Club Managers Association of America, National Automated Merchandising Association, US Air Force, American Marketing Association, as well as financial, health care, automotive, and education organizations throughout the United States and abroad.

Dr. Knutson is also editor of the prestigious Journal of Hospitality & Leisure Marketing. Dr. Knutson has been awarded the Withrow Award for outstanding teaching and research as well as the prestigious Golden Key Teaching Excellence Award for continued outstanding instruction and dedication to students. She has also been named an Advertising Education Foundation Teacher-Scholar.

Dr. Knutson is currently on the Advisory Council of the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, the Travel, Tourism and Recreation Resource Center, the National Michigan State University Alumni Association, and Curveware.

Ms. Knutson can be contacted at 517-353-9211 or drbonnie@msu.edu

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.