Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Apke

Marie Apke

Chief Operating Officer, Bensinger, DuPont & Associates

Marie Apke is Chief Operating Officer of Bensinger, DuPont & Associates (BDA), a leading EAP that promotes healthy outcomes for the workplace, employees, individuals and their families. Ms. Apke is a NAADAC Certified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), a Certified Employee Assistance Program Professional (CEAP), an International Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor (ICCGC), a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor (CCGC), and a Certified Problem and Compulsive Gambling Counselor (PCGC) with extensive training in the diagnosis, referral and treatment of addictive illness, including those of alcohol/drugs and problem and compulsive gambling. She has extensive experience in establishing and implementing EAP policies and programs. Ms. Apke has developed a network of both Associate and provider staff on a nationwide basis and is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the quality of care for assessment, referral and treatment. She believes the possibility of change and the potential that EAP has in influencing change. BDA is one of the ten largest EAPs in the nation, serving approximately 10 million lives. The firmís diverse offerings, flexibility, and case management approach ensure an individualized experience for its customers. To view Stressed at Work: What We Can Learn From EAP Utilization please visit: http://www.bensingerdupont.com/images/contentfiles/BDA_White_Paper_2013.pdf.

Ms. Apke can be contacted at 312-726-8620 or marie.apke@bensingerdupont.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.