Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Perks

Barrie Perks

Vice President Sales & Services, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau

Barrie M. Perks, an experienced sales and marketing professional who has held management positions with some of the nation's most recognized hotels in major cities around the world, joined the Cincinnati USA CVB as Vice President of Sales and Services in October 2006. Mr. Perkslived and worked in Cincinnati for 10 years while serving as Director of Marketing for the Westin Hotel in downtown Cincinnati from 1992 to 1997. Mr. Perks has led the strategic realignment of the CVB sales team to focus on specific vertical industry market segments rather than geographic regions, as had been done in the past. In 2007, Perksí first full year heading the CVB sales efforts, the team exceeded its room night goal by nearly ten percent. Throughout his tenure with the CVB, the Sales Teamís room night production has consistently grown year over year, with nearly 220,000 rooms booked in 2013. Mr. Perks implements an aggressive strategic sales and marketing plan to promote the city as a vibrant convention and meetings destination. He works closely with area hotels and convention facilities, and serves as a liaison between the CVB's clients and these facilities. He also develops cooperative programs, familiarization visits and sales missions with the local hospitality industry to effectively market the region, as well as oversees the sales managers and sales budget. A primary focus area for Mr. Perks is creating a cohesive community and stronger relationship between the local hotels and the CVB, where the entities work collectively toward the goal of increased hotel room nights and attracting high volume, high value meetings and conventions to Cincinnati USA. He also has held sales, marketing and management positions with hotels including the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles; the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach; the Portofino Resort and Marina in Redondo Beach; the Biltmore in Los Angeles; Hyatt Hotels in Indianapolis and Chicago; Princess Hotels in Bermuda; and Loews Hotels International in London, England.

Mr. Perks can be contacted at 513-632-5394 or bperks@cincyusa.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.