Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Buckley

Shruti Buckley

Vice President & Global Brand Manager, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Marriott International, Inc.

Shruti Buckley joined Marriott International, Inc. in 2008 as vice president and global brand manager of the Fairfield Inn & Suites brand. She has accountability for global brand strategy, brand positioning and integrity, and the guest experience for more than 700 hotels worldwide. Ms, Buckley has more than 15 years of experience in brand and business management, marketing, and strategy development across a variety of categories, including luxury cosmetics, apparel, food and toys. Prior to joining Marriott, she worked for National Geographic, leading all global marketing, public relations, product branding and international retail development efforts for the organizationís Licensing division. Prior to National Geographic, Shruti held product development and brand management leadership roles at Estee Lauder, Unilever and Nestle. She also brings international experience and perspective, having lived and worked in Switzerland and Japan. Ms, Buckley is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in South East Asian Studies. Ms, Buckley and her family live in Bethesda, Maryland.

Ms. Buckley can be contacted at 301-380-7770 or ffiheadquarters@marriott.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.