Editorial Board   

Prof. Ferry

Steven Ferry

Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers

Steven Ferry was born and raised in England, where he worked in education, hospitality, and private service before moving to the USA to continue in private service—during which time, in 1990, he established the first international butler association, The International Association of Traditional Butlers, and wrote the first modern book for the profession, The British Butler's Bible.

Prof. Ferry took a break from service in the mid-90's to focus on his other passions, establishing an award-winning photographic and writing company that produced a wide range of educational, PR, marketing, editorial and fictional products for most major US publishers and many corporations, including authoring 20 books and hundreds of articles. At the turn of the century, he found himself being asked to consult and train, first in the private sector and then in hospitality, based on publication of three books on butling.

At the request of peers, he founded the International Institute of Modern Butlers in 2004 to set and raise standards for the profession. He championed bringing the butler profession into the international community of the 21st Century and bringing the role to life, at a time when it was entrenched in tradition and being an object of interest as opposed to a vital force that could greatly expand service offerings in all service industries, hospitality in particular.

Professor Ferry is author of best-selling texts, such as the two-volume Serving the Wealthy  and Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators. He has helped introduce several innovations and new services to the hospitality industry, including the hotel-butler rating system, the spa butler, and an international black-book database of guests from hell. He currently advocates for the profession, and, together with the Institute staff, trains butlers and other employees in luxury hotels and resorts, private villas and estates, and other service industries around the world, specializing in uniquely effective soft-skill training that builds relationships with guests, as well as bringing fresh and astute perspectives to the challenges of hospitality management.

Prof. Ferry can be contacted at 813-354-2734 or stevenferry@modernbutlers.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.