Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Gerhard

Janet Gerhard

Founder, Hospitality Gal, LLC

Janet Gerhard has extensive experience transforming the way organizations understand and manage the customer experience. By analyzing and strategically changing how organizations interact with their customers, she helps clients redefine their growth strategy and customer experience ecosystem thereby driving top-line growth and bottom line results. In 2013, Ms. Gerhard was honored as one of HSMAI’s Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing. She established Hospitality Gal, LLC in 2012, and her areas of focus include: ▪ Engaging the organization in managing customer relationships, revenue, and profit. ▪ Bringing together departments that are often siloed to understand the customer perspective. ▪ Creating a persistent and unified focus on the customer in the actions the company takes. ▪ Helping the organization work together to optimize customer experience delivery. ▪ Supporting leaders in their role as cultural frontrunners in the transformation journey. Ms. Gerhard most recently completed a consulting project with a premier lodging brand as it redefined its approach to customer experience feedback, including the implementation of a mobile-enabled guest survey, enterprise-wide social media monitoring, and real-time reporting of related quality measures. In addition to the hospitality sector, Ms. Gerhard consults globally with automotive, business services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, technology and telecommunication companies. When not focused on intentional experience design and driving customer loyalty, Ms. Gerhard puts her passion for sales to use in an active partnership with CEB, the world’s leading member-based advisory company, working with its diverse client base on commercial transformations. Prior to the launch of Hospitality Gal, Ms. Gerhard led the Hospitality sector of newBrandAnalytics, a social media intelligence company named the Venture Summit Mid-Atlantic 100 Company of the Year in 2011 and Northern Virginia Council's Hottest VC Backed Company in 2012. She spent the previous nine years with Maritz Research where she used customer lifecycle analytics to help clients capture more customer loyalty. Ms. Gerhard began her customer experience journey with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. She is extremely well-traveled having visited and worked in more than 30 countries. Ms. Gerhard has a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. [http://www.linkedin.com/pub/janet-gerhard/8/511/150][1] [1]: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/janet-gerhard/8/511/150

Ms. Gerhard can be contacted at 215-518-2425 or janet@hospitality-gal.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.