Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Garretson

Cara Garretson

Media Supervisor, McKee Wallwork & Company

Cara Garretson is a Media Supervisor with McKee Wallwork & Company, a strategic integrated marketing firm. Ms. Garretson has approximately a decade of marketing experience and has been with McKee Wallwork & Company since 2006. She is responsible for the development and management of strategic media plans. Specializing in channel planning, her expertise covers everything from traditional to digital media channels. Ms. Garretson’s travel and tourism experience ranges from resort advertising to state and city level marketing efforts, and has focused on both leisure and convention strategies. Having dedicated much of her career to the travel and tourism industry, Ms. Garretson has enjoyed staying on the cutting edge of emerging media technologies and opportunities in the space. With a taste for all things digital, she loves finding new and interesting ways to target in both the desktop and mobile spaces. While the ever-changing digital landscape brings innovative ways to communicate to prospective travelers, it also brings challenges and complications to marketing that didn’t exist just a decade ago. Naturally data driven, Ms. Garretson focuses on the constant analysis and optimization of her campaigns to ensure her clients’ messages are reaching their target markets and driving conversions. Ms. Garretson’s work has been recognized nationally, receiving Media Magazine’s Creative Media Award in the Outdoor or Place-Based Media category. A native to New Mexico, Ms. Garretson enjoys life in the beautiful foothills of Albuquerque’s Sandia Mountains with her husband and Australian Shepherd.

Ms. Garretson can be contacted at 505-314-7745 or crogers@mwcmail.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.