Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Verrill

Ashley Verrill

Market Analyst, Software Advice

Ashley Verrill is a Market Analyst at Software Advice, a website dedicated to providing detailed reviews, comparisons and research to help organizations choose the right software. As an analyst on the marketing team, she publishes researches, blogs and reviews on new and emerging software. She focuses primarily on CRM, contact management software, customer service software, help desk software, social media applications, business telephony and hotel management software. She regularly interviews top thought leaders in the space, including R “Ray” Wang, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, Esteban Kolsky, Brian Vellmure and Paul Greenberg. Additionally, Ms. Verrill serves as the Managing Editor for the Customer Service Investigator, a blog dedicated to research and reports on customer support and customer experience strategy. There, she manages a network of guest contributors, along with posting her own material. Ms. Verrill is also a regular contributor to CIO.com and GigaOM, including a recent feature on the future of social customer service technology. Her work has been cited in myriad top-tier publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Yahoo! News, Business Insider and Inc. She has been participated in several notable speaking engagements, including a presentation at Hewlett Packard’s 2013 Social Support Summit in Orlando, Fla. Previous to her current position, Ms. Verrill worked for five years as a Web Editor and Reporter for the Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. Her beats at that time included entrepreneurship, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, employment and nonprofit. She also spent time in sales management and advertising with an Austin-based startup. Ms. Verrill graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Ms. Verrill can be contacted at 512-582-2314 or ashleyverrill@softwareadvice.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.