Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gray

Mike Gray

Director of National Accounts, Cardola

Mike Gray has served as Cardola’s director of national accounts for North America since the UK-based company was first established in the region at the start of 2012. His main responsibilities are sales and support for Cardola’s North America division, and with the opening of Cardola’s new US office and the deployment of VirtualHotel in further properties, Mr. Gray's responsibilities are expanding. Mr. Gray has also been involved in Cardola’s latest deployment, the Delano hotel in Marrakech, which is owned by US based Morgan’s hotel group. With a total of 29 years experience in the hospitality technology market, and previous sales roles in seven other hospitality organizations, Mr. Gray is a key asset for Cardola. His expertise in the North American hotel market will help Cardola further its geographical expansion and deploy the VirtualHotel solution in more North American properties. Mr. Gray is also actively working on potential projects in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining Cardola, Mr. Gray worked for various technology companies, specializing in hospitality, and worked with high profile hotel chains, including Hilton, Marriott and Mandarin Oriental. His success in guiding hotels and hotel chains toward reducing costs and enhancing guest experiences, with the help of technology, makes his expertise invaluable for the Cardola team.

Mr. Gray can be contacted at mike.gray@cardola.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.