Including AEDs As Part of Your Five-Star Service

By Aaron Koppelberger National Director of Service, Cintas First Aid & Safety | February 17, 2019

When checking into a hotel, guests automatically expect a clean room and smooth check-in process. And many also expect the property to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) on site. In fact, a recent Harris Poll found that 69 percent of Americans believe hotels should have an AED installed.

But the truth is, they're much more likely to find a 24-hour concierge and indoor pool than an AED since there is no federal mandate requiring hotels to have AEDs. Chris Chiames, former Executive Director of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, notes that in an average business traveler's day-which consists of going to the gym, dropping their children off at school, visiting the office, going to the airport, taking a plane to the meeting and checking in at the hotel-the hotel is the only place without an AED.

In the U.S., there are 350,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) each year, and 90 percent of out-of-hospital SCA events are fatal. AEDs, however, greatly improve a person's chance of survival. According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA), survival from cardiac arrest doubled when bystanders stepped in to use a publicly-available automated external defibrillator rather than wait until emergency responders arrived.

What are AEDs?

According to the AHA, the best way to effectively treat SCA is with an electrical shock delivered by a defibrillator, a device that returns the heart to normal rhythm. AEDs force an electrical current through the heart by means of pads, or electrodes, placed on the chest. This brief pulse of current calms the activity of the heart, allowing it to start beating again.

Adding AEDs to Your Reservation List

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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.