Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Urbat

Christian Urbat

Senior Vice President, Technical Services, Americas, Carlson Rezidor

Christian Urbat joined Carlson as senior vice president, Technical Services, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Americas, in January, 2011. Mr. Urbat’s responsibilities include translating brand standards into technical standards; overall technical leadership for the owned and managed hotels—with a clear focus on the Carlson Hotels Real Estate Company (CHREC) portfolio and key flagships; and ensuring compliance of franchised properties with the agreed upon technical standards—overseeing the definition and execution of property improvement plans (P.I.P.) or other strategic investments in single properties. In this compliance work he will provide consulting assistance to the owners to help ensure alignment with the strategic direction of the brands. He further works in close cooperation with the Development and Operations teams. Mr. Urbat, who was born in Porta Westfalica, Germany, previously held various positions with Hyatt International as vice president of Technical Services for Europe, Africa and Middle East in Zurich, Switzerland, responsible for all building and site related pre- and post-development activities as well as renovations. Prior to that, he worked for Hyatt in various corporate positions and in Food & Beverage Operations across the U.S., China and Germany. Mr. Urbat has a master’s degree in Culinary Art and a Bachelor of Arts degree in hotel management from Hotel Management College in Altötting, Germany.

Mr. Urbat can be contacted at 763-212-5451 or curbat@carlsonrezidor.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.