Venue managers must constantly keep their minds in the present and in the future, sometimes at the same time. It’s difficult and taxing, but sometimes there are ways to accomplish both without straining physical and mental resources.
One way is to re-frame your thinking. For example, The Langham, Hong Kong changed the name of its housekeeping supervisors to guest experience managers. This small change had a big impact on the hotel’s operations.
“Our main guest satisfaction measure, a guest survey completed by guests post departure, has shown a 7 percent post implementation of our guest experience manager roles,” Dean Dimitriou, the hotel’s executive assistant manager of rooms, told Dr. Michael Oshins in an interview. “We also receive up to 30 guest comments per month from guests reflecting how impressed they are with the service received by these guest experience managers.”
Dimitriou said that the guest experience managers’ sense of accomplishment increased because of their opportunities to engage with guests. And then there are the financial benefits.
“A dollar figure cannot be placed against the increase of guest satisfaction; however we have seen a 50 percent increase in enrollments into our loyalty program based on our guests satisfaction during their stay, which is in turn resulting in an increase in the repeat guest ratio,” Dimitriou told Oshins. “So the increase in guest satisfaction is increasing the number of loyal guests we have and the fact our repeat guests not only will enable us to secure future repeat business, their off-spend and average rate is typically higher than average.”
Dr. Oshins is one of the many great teachers at this year’s Senior Executive Symposium (SES), May 11-14, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is a professor at Boston University, where he teaches hospitality leadership, among other courses. For SES, he will help attendees learn to re-frame their thinking in order to be more creative and how to build service quality and value for their organizations.
These types of high-level, status-quo busting courses are exactly the right fit for many venue managers who feel they’ve “been there, done that” and are seeking new ideas and strategies.
“The teachers at SES, the intimate settings, and being on the college campus created and fostered an environment for learning new material because the teachers who taught are top-notch,” said IAVM member Kim Stone, executive vice president and general manager of the AmericanAirlines Arena. “I learned quite a bit while I was there about more overall management leadership topics. I found it really thought-provoking, it was a wonderful place to learn, and it really stretched your thinking as an executive. It’s just invaluable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another organization that I’ve been affiliated with that had that type of curriculum, and I think it’s fantastic.”
SES this year focuses on visionary management for leaders, and applications are still being accepted.