Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Connor

Peter O'Connor

Academic Director, Institute de Management Hotelier Int.

Peter O'Connor is Chaired Professor of Digital Disruption at ESSEC Business School, France, where he also serves as Director of the MBA in Hospitality Management (IMHI), Europe's leading MBA program specializing in international hospitality management. Dr. O'Connor's primary research, teaching and consulting interests focus on the use of technology in the hospitality and tourism sectors. In addition to his textbooks on hospitality technology, Dr. O'Connor has published articles in leading academic journals including the Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Tourism Management, the Cornell Quarterly and the International Journal of Hospitality Management. Dr. O'Connor also works with PhoCusWright Inc. as a senior analyst specializing in the hotel technology space, as well as serving as Editor-at-large of Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology, a leading industry publication focused on the sector. In 2015, he launched the first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on Hotel Distribution (coursera.org/learn/hotel-distribution) which currently has over has over 9.500 active learners. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. O'Connor also works with managers from a large variety of travel industry clients to help shape their electronic distribution and electronic marketing strategies. He is regularly quoted by the international press and consulted by investment companies and private equity firms on developments in the hotel technology arena. Prior to joining Essec Business School, Dr. O'Connor was a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland. He has been a visiting researcher at the University of South Australia and held a visiting position at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration as well as worked in a variety of positions in the international hospitality industry in sectors ranging from luxury hotels to contract food services.

Mr. O'Connor can be contacted at +33 1 3443 3177 or oconnor@essec.fr

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.