Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Withiam

Glenn Withiam

Executive Edtor, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Cornell University

Glenn Withiam is a graduate of Cornell University, and is executive editor of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ) as well as director of publications for the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). In addition to producing the CQ and numerous reports, Mr. Withiam has edited books on hotel management contracts, internal control, hospitality training, quality service, and the forthcoming Cornell School of Hotel Administration on Hospitality: Cutting Edge Thinking and Practice, published by John Wiley and Sons.

Mr. Withiam can be contacted at 607-255-3025 or grw4@cornell.edu

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.