Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Waldvogel

Deborah Waldvogel

Director of Spa Development & Operations, Sedona Resorts

Deborah J. Waldvogel is the Director of Spa Development and Operations for Sedona Resorts. Ms. Waldvogel's responsibilities include financial feasibility studies, concept development, design, as well as managing opening and operations for unique, luxury resort and destination spas with an emphasis on wellness programs. Sedona Resorts is currently involved in the development and management of a Boutique Resort and Spa at Cocoplum, Placencia, Belize as well as Kittitian Hill, a Sustainable Resort Master Planned Community on the island of St. Kitts both of which are focused on healthy lifestyle programming. Ms. Waldvogel played an integral role leading the relaunch of the Spa at Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos which has been recognized as one of the Top Spas in the Caribbean by Conde Nast Traveler Reader's and received the World Travel Award as the World's Leading Spa Resort in 2012. Her most recognized experience in the spa industry came during the first six years of operations at Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment. As Director of Operations and an Executive Officer Committee Member, in addition to overseeing daily operations of all key spa departments, she was responsible for program development and coordination and was the resort training facilitator. Mii amo received numerous highly respected accolades including #1 Destination Spa in the World by Travel & Leisure readers. She is recognized as a leader in the spa industry serving as a Board member, Chairman, and currently Past Chairman for the International Spa Association (ISPA) where she has lead several task forces and committees including Nominations and the development of a Spa Operations Manual. During her seven years of Board Service, Ms. Waldvogel had the opportunity to network with Spa Professionals while attending and presenting at industry events in the U.S, Thailand, France, Egypt, and Costa Rica in addition to leading a regional event hosted by ISPA in India. Ms. Waldvogel continues to speak at both domestic and international events on behalf of the association. Before her success in spa, she was a private business owner in the travel industry and has 14 years of experience in curriculum development and teaching. She has served on the Arizona State University Spa Management Advisory Board. She is also committed to continuing her own education and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Ms. Waldvogel holds a B.S. in Biology and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse.

Please visit http://www.sedona-resorts.com for more information.

Ms. Waldvogel can be contacted at 928-300-3236 or dwaldvogel@sedona-resorts.com

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.