Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Proulx

Chris Proulx

Chief Executive Officer, eCornell

Chris Proulx is the Chief Executive Officer of eCornell. Mr. Proulx became CEO in 2004 after previously serving as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Program Management. Mr. Proulx plays a central role in setting the strategic direction of eCornell. Through close collaboration with senior leadership and faculty at Cornell, heidentifies growth opportunities in online education for the University. Mr. Proulx is responsible for identifying potential new products, and working directly with the faculty and administration of the Schools and Colleges of Cornell University to produce and deliver eCornellís online programs. Mr. Proulx is a frequent panelist and technical advisor to online education conferences and industry events, acting as liaison for Cornell University. He is a member of the American Society for Training and Development. He is also a guest columnist for several online hospitality publications. Mr. Proulx's background is in the hospitality industry where he was an operations manager and training resource for Discovery Zone, Inc. and ARAMARK Corporation. His recent focus has been on new and social media and their roles in the rapidly changing social learning environment. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

Mr. Proulx can be contacted at 607-330-3265 or cmp43@cornell.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.