Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Gerhard

Janet Gerhard

Founder, Hospitality Gal, LLC

Janet Gerhard has extensive experience transforming the way organizations understand and manage the customer experience. By analyzing and strategically changing how organizations interact with their customers, she helps clients redefine their growth strategy and customer experience ecosystem thereby driving top-line growth and bottom line results. In 2013, Ms. Gerhard was honored as one of HSMAI's Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing. She established Hospitality Gal, LLC in 2012, and her areas of focus include: ▪ Engaging the organization in managing customer relationships, revenue, and profit. ▪ Bringing together departments that are often siloed to understand the customer perspective. ▪ Creating a persistent and unified focus on the customer in the actions the company takes. ▪ Helping the organization work together to optimize customer experience delivery. ▪ Supporting leaders in their role as cultural frontrunners in the transformation journey. Ms. Gerhard most recently completed a consulting project with a premier lodging brand as it redefined its approach to customer experience feedback, including the implementation of a mobile-enabled guest survey, enterprise-wide social media monitoring, and real-time reporting of related quality measures. In addition to the hospitality sector, Ms. Gerhard consults globally with automotive, business services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, technology and telecommunication companies. When not focused on intentional experience design and driving customer loyalty, Ms. Gerhard puts her passion for sales to use in an active partnership with CEB, the world's leading member-based advisory company, working with its diverse client base on commercial transformations. Prior to the launch of Hospitality Gal, Ms. Gerhard led the Hospitality sector of newBrandAnalytics, a social media intelligence company named the Venture Summit Mid-Atlantic 100 Company of the Year in 2011 and Northern Virginia Council's Hottest VC Backed Company in 2012. She spent the previous nine years with Maritz Research where she used customer lifecycle analytics to help clients capture more customer loyalty. Ms. Gerhard began her customer experience journey with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. She is extremely well-traveled having visited and worked in more than 30 countries. Ms. Gerhard has a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. [http://www.linkedin.com/pub/janet-gerhard/8/511/150][1] [1]: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/janet-gerhard/8/511/150

Ms. Gerhard can be contacted at 215-518-2425 or janet@hospitality-gal.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.