Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Holmerud

Justin Holmerud

Global Social Media Manager - Platforms & Tools, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Justin Holmerud is Global Social Media Manager for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, responsible for driving platform and tool development to meet the needs of the company’s more than 1,110 hotels around the world. Mr. Holmerud joined Starwood in 2007, out of their regional Field Marketing office in San Diego. In his five years with Starwood, Mr. Holmerud has led regional hotel online marketing as well as search engine optimization and social media for all of the North American hotels. In April 2012, he was promoted to his current global role within Starwood’s digital team, focusing on platforms, tools and analytics. Prior to joining Starwood, Mr. Holmerud was the online marketing manager for the Dyson News Network. Working with Yahoo! Finance, Mr. Holmerud helped syndicate the Real Estate news videos that DNN produced on a daily basis. He also led the paid search and SEO efforts for the company with a focus on reporting and analytics. Mr. Holmerud is a graduate of San Jose State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism. During his time there, he interned with the marketing team for Fox Sports Bay Area.

Mr. Holmerud can be contacted at 206-494-0132 or justin.holmerud@starwoodhotels.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.