Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Co-Founder, Net Conversion

Ryan Fitzgerald dreams in pie charts and bar graphs, and is committed to helping his clients understand the importance of these numbers. He leads analytics, reporting and product development for Net Conversion; spending hours poring over Excel spreadsheets and calculating the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Mr. Fitzgerald's expertise includes product development, planning and analysis, pricing strategy, corporate finance, online media and advertising and the overall management of a variety of clients, partner and vendor relationships. While he is neurotic about numbers and infatuated with spreadsheets, he is remarkably articulate and fun to be around. Prior to launching Net Conversion, Mr. Fitzgerald invested his analytical efforts in the travel industry, including the world’s biggest theme parks, Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Florida and a Master of Business in Finance from Rollins College. The team at Net Conversion is focused on driving revenue for clients in the travel industry through paid digital marketing along with comprehensive analytics. They won a 2012 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Gold Digital Marketing Adrian Award for an online video campaign created for the Nassau Paradise Island Promotional Board in partnership with Verb Interactive. The campaign increased website visitation by 30 percent from top-origin markets and delivered 50 percent more leads to partner resorts.

Mr. Fitzgerald can be contacted at 407-241-2044 or ryan@net-conversion.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.