Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Denihan

Chrissy Denihan

Chief Comfort Officer, Affinia Hotels

Chrissy Denihan, founder Benjamin “Bud” Denihan's granddaughter, assumed the role of Chief Comfort Officer (CCO) for Affinia Hotels in October 2011. As CCO, Ms. Denihan serves as the leader of Tender Loving Comfort (TLC), a new movement rooted in deep customer service and reading and responding to guests' body language. Ms. Denihan, who is also brand integration manager for Affinia Hotels' parent company Denihan Hospitality Group, joined the company in 2007. She has worked in every department from housekeeping to the front desk, and was intimately involved in the development of TLC from the beginning. As the CCO position developed, it became clear to the executive team that Ms. Denihan was a perfect fit for the job. In her new role, Ms. Denihan oversees a TLC Crew at each hotel and liaises with guests and hotel staff on everything related to comfort, including collecting guest feedback on initiatives and hotel programming. Additionally, she sources unique items to be offered brand wide, and serves as the curator of comfy content on the social networks. Her contagious smile and warm personality, paired with her hands-on experience in the hotel industry, make her popular with hotel staff. She motivates and inspires the TLC crew to find out what guests want and need, and uses that information to make their experience even more enjoyable. Ms. Denihan is a graduate of Boston College with a bachelor's degree in human development and sociology. She volunteers with Operation Smile and is a member of the Young Alumnae Organization of Sacred Heart School in Manhattan.

Ms. Denihan can be contacted at 212-751-5710 or cdenihan@affinia.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.