Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Lundahl

Maury F. Lundahl

Senior Director, Distribution Strategy, Choice Hotels International

Maury Lundahl is senior director, distribution strategy for worldwide lodging franchisor Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH). In this role she oversees development and execution of the company’s social media strategy. Under her leadership, Choice established a Facebook presence and significantly grew its social audience. Ms. Lundahl is also responsible for the implementation and ongoing evolution of Choice’s distribution strategy, including monitoring industry trends, understanding consumer behavior, and facilitating planning and communication across Choice’s distribution channels. During her 10-year tenure with Choice, Ms. Lundahl has been instrumental in enhancing Choice’s ecommerce platform, identifying and initiating new, innovative and effective content management, channel analysis and communication strategies. In the role of Sr. Director, Electronic Communications and Analysis, she was responsible for the implementation of the company’s first enterprise content management system. Prior to joining Choice, Ms. Lundahl served as marketing and ebusiness consultant for Immedient Corporation where she worked with leading brands to develop ecommerce, online marketing and content management strategies designed to drive revenue and generate demand. Ms. Lundahl holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Northern Arizona University.

Ms. Lundahl can be contacted at 602-953-4469 or maury_lundahl@choicehotels.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.