Editorial Board   

Mr. Hanks

Richard D. Hanks

Chairman and President, Mindshare Technologies

Richard D. Hanks is Chairman and President of Mindshare Technologies, the leading provider of real-time customer and employee feedback solutions. Mindshare's proprietary survey technology captures the voice of the customer in real-time and immediately transforms it into actionable intelligence through powerful and incisive enterprise reporting. Mr. Hanks has been a senior executive of several Fortune 500 companies as well as several start-up ventures. He was a corporate officer at Marriott, an executive with PepsiCo and Price Waterhouse, and CEO of Blue Step, a software start-up. Rich was named "The Leading Sales Innovator in the Lodging Industry," and Marriott's sales team was rated one of the top 25 among all companies in the U.S. for four years under his leadership. Rich also led Marriott onto the Internet, prompting Bill Gates to refer to him as an "Important Internet champion" in his book Business @ the Speed of Thought. Earlier in his career, Rich was called the "Leader of Hotel Revenue Management and Strategy" for his leadership in hotel pricing and yield management. He is also a CPA. Rich was nominated as Utah Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001, 2007, and 2008. Mr. Hanks is the author of "Delivering and Measuring Customer Service", is a frequent teacher/speaker at trade, academic and professional gatherings, and is widely quoted in top business journals and trade publications. An active participant on various boards of corporations, universities, and foundations. Mr. Hanks was a lecturer and adjunct professor at Cornell University for 10 years and on the Board of the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and his MBA from Northwestern University.

Mr. Hanks can be contacted at 801-263-2333 or rhanks@mshare.net

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. 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.