Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Smith

Carrianne Smith

Director of Sales & Marketing, The Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Starwood Hotels

Carrianne Smith is a leader in the Pacific Northwest hospitality industry. She has held her current role as director of sales and marketing at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel for seven years, where her accumulated knowledge and experience from hotel locations across the U.S. brings immense value to the hotel. Ms. Smith’s expertise for hotel management and hospitality ranges from her position as the director of sales at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, where she led her sales team to the Starwood “Team Hot” of the Year Award in 2003; director of marketing at Wyndham Andover and Wyndham Burlington in Massachusetts and sales manager at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle. In her 10 year tenure with Starwood properties, Ms. Smith has been nominated six times for Sales Team of the Year, winning the honor in 2008, and has twice been nominated for Sales Leader of the Year. After graduating Southern Illinois University, her career began as a front office manager at Wyndham Lisle/Naperville and as a catering manager at Wyndham SeaTac. Ms. Smith is a member of Meeting Professionals International and the Professional Convention Management Association, where she served as co-chair for the marketing and promotions committee for the 2008 PMCA Annual Meeting. She is a repeat guest speaker at Cornell, Johnson & Wales and Northeastern University, and prior to moving to Seattle, she served as a member of the Boston Convention Bureau’s Sales Advisory Committee and led the “Introduction to Meeting Management” course at Northeastern University. Ms. Smith, a Chicago native, resides in West Seattle with her family. She enjoys traveling, the outdoors and reading, and her commitment to her community is realized through her passionate A.I.D.S. activism, leading the Sheraton’s Gingerbread Village program in support of JDRF and providing groceries to the elderly, homeless and working poor with the Pike Place Market Food Bank.

Ms. Smith can be contacted at 206-447-5531 or Carrianne.pugh@sheraton.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.