Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Evans Parker

Deborah Evans Parker

Principal, Deborah Evans & Associates, LLC

Deborah Evans Parker is the founder and principal of Deborah Evans & Associates and has created and designed, developed, consulted, marketed and managed select destination, resort and day spas and salons throughout her career. With over twenty - five years of hands on spa experience and a proven track record. Ms. Evans is a dynamic visionary and recognized industry leader in planning, programming, marketing and public relations and successful management of hotel and spa operations. As a perpetual student, spa chef, licensed massage and spa therapist, author, educator and spa aficionado, Ms. Evans has developed a unique background and expertise in spa cuisine, massage and spa therapies, fitness and outdoor recreational programs and holistic health. Combined with expertise in strategic business development, branding and imaging, retail development and management, staff development and team dynamics and sales and service training. Ms. Evans is a highly sought after spa and salon consultant, providing expert advice to both new and existing spas. Seeing both a need and an opportunity, Deborah launched her new spa and salon distribution company in 2010 and now represents ten quality spa and salon brands in the national US market. Ms. Evans oversaw the development and repositioning of two leading destination spas, Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas and Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. Serving as General Manager of both of these "top ten" spas, Evans oversaw the re-tooling of "Bermuda Inn" to "Lake Austin" and "National Institute of Fitness" to "Red Mountain Spa". Sensing a need and an opportunity in the industry, Evans developed and conducted a spa management training program and founded her spa consulting business in 1995 and was selected to develop The Grand Floridian Spa at Disney World in Orlando, Florida as her initial project. As a spa industry expert, Ms. Evans has been interviewed and quoted in hundreds of publications and by most leading spa, health, and beauty and travel publications. Ms. Evans has served on The International Spa Association Board of Directors and Foundation Board. She currently serves as President of the Spa Consulting Chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants and is dedicated to setting ethical standards and certification for spa consultants. She is a member of the International Spa Association, The Institute of Management Consultants and The Manufacturer Agents National Association.

Ms. Evans Parker can be contacted at 901-221-8283 or deborah@devansassociates.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.