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EDITOR’S NOTE

Impressum Published by Beyond Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. G. Kathlyn, L4 Daisy Magu, Male Republic of Maldives www.beyondhospitality.com Managing Editor David Kotthoff david@hospitality-maldives.com Advertising ads@hospitality-maldives.com Design & Layout Beyond Media Design Pvt Ltd. www.beyondmediadesign.com Print Novelty Printers & Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

Dear friends and colleagues, Welcome to the 16th edition of Hospitality Maldives. Another year has passed, a new one begun - time to hold on for the moment, reflect on the past, and anticipate the future. I for my part am very much looking forward to what will certainly be a most interesting and exciting year for the Maldivian tourism and hospitality industry.

Contributors Mark Hamister Schihab A. Adam Jeff Ross Harry Nobles Dr. Rick Johnson Roberta Nedry Kelley Robertson Jonh Keells Hotels Leslie Lyon Doug Kennedy Kristy Jack Chris Longstreet Jeannette Lannon J. Ragsdale Hendrie Zulkifi Musa Brian Walsh Becky Regan Naladhu Maldives Velidhu Island Hotel Inner Maldives Holidays Hulhule Island Hotel Qatar Airways N.C Division of Pollution Prevention & Environment Assistance The Leading Hotels of the World www.ehotelier.com

I am sure that 2008 will be the year that new standards will be set in Maldives; new standards in service as well as in concepts, designs and marketing strategies. Never before seen growth and expansion make this remote destination probably one of the most happening places on earth in terms of touristic development at the moment, especially when compared to its size and history. With more and more international chains moving in and local owners and operators doing their best to compete with these giants of the trade, the floor is set for a battle of the travelers.

Disclaimer No parts of this magazine or its content (photographs, articles or parts thereof, design, layout) may be reproduced without the consent of the respective owner.

Yours in hospitality,

Beyond Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. or any of its associates cannot be held responsible for the misuse of the information and intellectual property provided in this magazine.

Saying that however, another battle is already in full swing: the battle for staff. In order to maintain the governmentally regulated percentage of local employees while improving their service levels, resorts are literally fighting over the most qualified Maldivian resort workers. And that on all levels. But does it have to be that way? Certainly not! If every running resort would ‘produce’ only five well-trained hospitality workers every month, by the end of this year we’d have over five thousand more local professionals at hand – enough to run more than a dozen resorts alone. Think about it, and let’s make 2008 a truly hospitable year! On this note, the team of Hospitality Maldives wishes all our readers a Prosperous, Healthy and Successful 2008 and Happy Reading!

David Kotthoff

Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers and not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

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CONTENTS

CONTENTS 03

Editor’s Note

08

Overcoming ‘Now is Just Not a Good Time…’

14

Hotel Waste Reduction

17

Is Mega Boutique Hotel an Oxymoron?

18

Top 7 Sales Blunders

20

Leadership Effectiveness

27

7 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Employees

28

Why Hospitality Employers are Poor at Replying to Job Applications

32

Five Strategies to Deal with an Unsatisfied Customer

36

Policies and Procedures

42

The Hotel Workforce: One Bad Apple

44

How I Do It: Hotelier Mark Hamister

46

Hospitality Bites

52

10 Ways Not to Hire the Best Person for the Job

54

Building Your Brand Starts With Your Guests

58

The Fundamentals of Performance Evaluation

60

Conducting Effective Sales Training

63

Financial Management Secrets of the Spa Industry

67

Winning First Impressions Are Vital

68

Last Words

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NEWS

Biggest Ever Passenger Cash Prize At Doha International Airport Creates Second Instant Millionaire Winners Of Two Luxury Cars Drawn For The First Time At Qatar Duty Free Doha, QATAR – Qatar Duty Free, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has announced the winners of its biggest ever raffle prize draw turning one lucky passenger into an instant millionaire and two others into luxury car owners. Lucky winner, Varkey Thomas, from India, won a whopping US$1million in the second millionaire draw held at Doha International Airport. “I am so happy, this really is a gift from God,” said Varkey after learning of the win. Mr Thomas, 55, who is married with four daughters, works as a General Manager for an offshore company in Qatar. He said the news had brought “great joy” to his family. The Thomas family have been in Doha for 23 years and bought the winning ticket before boarding flight QR 264 to Cochin to visit family in their hometown. The Dollar Millionaire raffle was launched in May 2006 with chances of passengers winning extremely high as each draw is made after 5,000 tickets are sold. Departing and transiting passengers at Doha International Airport are able to purchase raffle tickets, each priced at QAR950. The prize-winning draw was held with two other draws for luxury cars – the first time Qatar Duty Free has held three raffles on the same day.A BMW 650i convertible will be taken home by Mohammed Issa Al Omari, a Jordanian national living in Qatar. A MercedesBenz CLS 350 was won by Canadian Iyad Mohamad Saad, also living in Qatar. Qatar Duty Free Deputy General Manager Krishna Kumari oversaw the draw, inviting passengers to pick the winning ticket.“Qatar Duty Free has enjoyed tremendous success since launching the Qatar Riyal Millionaire Draw four years ago. With the newly-launched dollar millionaire draw last year, we have taken a huge step forward by increasing the prize money on offer by more than 300 per cent,” she said.

The Qatar Duty Free draw concluded at Doha International Airport with tickets picked for US$1 million and two luxury cars. Qatar Duty Free Deputy General Manager Krishna Kumari is pictured third left.

Qatar Duty Free, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, has been enjoying significant growth year on year, helped by a ramping up of its presence in the departures and arrivals area at Doha International Airport, the airline’s operational hub. The airline operates a modern fleet of 60 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 81 destinations worldwide from Doha. The fleet size will almost double to 110 jets by 2015. Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com

“Following the success of the first dollar millionaire draw, I look forward to welcoming many more instant millionaires over the next few months and years to come.”Added Kumari: “The beauty of this draw is that it is not restricted to just one prize. Every time 5,000 tickets are sold, we will have a raffle draw at Doha International Airport, so this shows that the chances of becoming an instant millionaire are extremely high. “This draw brings joy and excitement to the lives of a few lucky winners. We look forward to drawing more money-spinning winning tickets very soon.”

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TRAINING

Overcoming: ‘Now Is Just Not A Good Time For Training’ seeking the right time to schedule training is kind of like By Doug Kennedy

seeking happiness: Don't wait for some major milestone or life event to 'bring' it to 'make' you happy and instead take control of your own destiny.

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TRAINING

Being in the business of providing outside training support for hotels representing all market segments, I never cease to be amazed by numerous reasons hotel managers give for not being able to schedule training ‘just yet’. • • • • •

‘We first need to get the right manager in place to lead the staff.’ ‘Once we install our new ‘system’ then we’ll have more time for training. ‘It’s just too busy now - we can’t spare the staff.’ ‘It’s just too slow now - we have to cut budgets.’ ‘We’d do the training now, but we’ve just had too much turn over lately.’

Conduct ‘Grab n Go’ training on the fly. Everyone knows that business cycle in the hotel business creates significant bottlenecks where everything happens at once, and thus simultaneously also creates times during which absolutely nothing is happening at all, albeit only for a brief interval. Whenever 15 or more minutes present themselves, grab every available employee who is open and conduct training activities and/or exercises.

Coach on the job, every day. Use down-time between guest transactions to reinforce what was done well, and to remind them what could have been done more effectively.

• Interestingly, I’ve casually observed that the hotels and hotel companies that already have the best sales and service training in place always seem to make the time to schedule even more, despite that they also seem to be the busiest! Interestingly also that training itself can be the solution for many of the objections above.

Clip and distribute articles from online and print trade magazines to your team on a regular (weekly) basis. Discuss their impressions and how the topic can apply at your hotel and lessons learned during ‘Grab n Go’ training.

For example, one reason the hotel might be ‘too slow right now to schedule anything’ is that the staff isn’t properly trained in sales. Similarly, the excuse of ‘too much turnover’ is actually made worse because employees leave because they don’t feel they are being properly trained, as many state in their exit interviews.

During slow periods, connect a tape recorder to a telephone handset adapter and have managers (who are coached in advance to sound like a realistic customer) place calls to frontline staff. The recordings can then be critiqued and discussed during ‘Grab n Go’ training.

Similarly, use the camera movie feature of the hotel’s digital camera, or purchase an inexpensive camcorder. Then during down-time you can conduct role/play skill rehearsal activities in the workplace, videotape them and then critique them in small groups during ‘Grab n Go’ training.

Reinforce core themes of traditional training workshops with workplace displays, posters, and job aids that provide reminders in the workplace.

The reality is that seeking the right time to schedule training is kind of like seeking happiness: Don’t wait for some major milestone or life event to ‘bring’ it to ‘make’ you happy and instead take control of your own destiny. When it comes to both scheduling training and finding happiness, there’s no better time to start than right here, right now! Alternatively, here are some very good reasons to schedule your next training class immediately: •

Your hotel is only as good as the impression of the last guest who checked-out today, the last person who called the switchboard, and the last patron who dined in your restaurant. For that matter, your now-profitable hotel is only as viable as its last accounting period.

Due to our naturally curious human nature, everyone thrives when they are learning, and an environment of ongoing training and development helps reduce turn over and ensure standards long-term.

Indeed, at its core creating hospitality is an incredibly simple process, and yet also so incredibly hard to do well consistently.

Rather than waiting to find that ‘legendary’ training program event that will create an epiphany for your staff, make it a top priority everyday to make sure everyone on your team conducts training everywhere and every time they can. Here are some suggestions for making training happen on your very next shift:

Get clip this article, head to the photocopier and get your hotel staff on the continuous journey to hospitality excellence right here, right now! Copyright 2007 - Kennedy Training Network Doug Kennedy, President of the Kennedy Training Network, has been a fixture on the hospitality and tourism industry conference circuit since 1989, having presented over 1,000 conference keynote sessions, educational seminars, and on-premise training workshops for diverse audiences representing every segment of the lodging industry. His articles have also appeared worldwide in more than 17 prominent international publications including the HSMAI Marketing Review, eHotelier, 4hoteliers, Hotel News Resource, Hotel Online, Human Assets - Dubai and Hong Kong, Hsyndicate worldwide, BAHA Times - U.K., Hospitality - Maldives, and the Hotel Expert Magazine Hong Kong. Visit www.kennedytrainingnetwork.com for details or e-mail him at: doug@kennedytrainingnetwork.com. Originally published at www.hotelmotel.com

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NEWS

Asia Pacific tourism continues to break records Source : ehotelier.com

There were close to 356 million international trips to Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) member destinations in 2006, representing region-wide year-on-year growth of 5.3% over 2005.

• •

This was revealed by the ‘PATA Annual Statistical Report 2006’, launched today during a strategic intelligence workshop at PATA Travel Mart 2007 in Bali, which has set a new year-to-date record for arrivals.

“Since 2002, IVAs to and within Asia Pacific have grown at an average annual rate of 6.2%,” said Mr Koldowski. “Assuming no external shocks, PATA forecasts continued positive performance, at least in the medium-term.”

“Calendar year 2006 was very successful in terms of international visitor arrivals (IVAs) into and within Asia Pacific,” said PATA Director - Strategic Intelligence Centre (SIC) Mr John Koldowski.

The ‘PATA Annual Statistical Report 2006’ launched today brings together in one volume the top-line performance statistics for destinations across Asia Pacific from 2002 to 2006.

The following destinations posted “best-ever performances” in 2006:

Covering both inbound and outbound flows, the report provides an overview of annual travel movements to and within the most dynamic region in the world today -- Asia Pacific.

• • • • •

Chile, in the Americas; Bhutan, India and Pakistan, in South Asia; China (PRC), Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea (ROK) Macau SAR and Mongolia, in Northeast Asia; Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar. Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, in Southeast Asia; and Australia, Cook Islands, Hawaii, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea and Samoa, in the Pacific.

“Asia Pacific may attract up to 380 million IVAs in 2007,” he added. “So far this year the region has added 13.8 million international visitor arrivals compared to the same period in 2006, an expansion of 7.1% year-on-year.” During today’s Asia Pacific State-of-Play Workshop, a complimentary event for registered PATA Travel Mart delegates, Mr Koldowski outlined the major issues and trends affecting international travel flows to and within the region in the short and medium term:•

Jet fuel prices, which account for 28% of airlines’ operating costs in 2007 (in 2003 jet fuel prices accounted 14% of costs). • Political uncertainty, with major elections scheduled in regional destinations. • Climate change; the industry’s response and political implications. • Intra-regional and cross-border traffic will continue to dominate. ** Continuing expansion of road and air routes throughout Asia.

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The effects of new aircraft; the A380 and B787. The progression of sub-orbital flight technology and space tourism.

For specific information on the structure of Asia Pacific travel flows, refer to the full report. For predictions on Asia Pacific tourism performance, PATA’s ‘Asia Pacific Tourism Forecasts’ covers a three-year time horizon. The ‘PATA Annual Statistical Report 2006’ by PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre is available to PATA members for US$250 and nonmembers US$500. For more information on the report, visit www.PATA.org/catalogue or email publications@PATA.org. About PATA Mission statement: “The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. In partnership with PATA’s private and public sector members, we enhance the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within the region.” Founded in 1951, PATA is the recognised authority on Asia Pacific travel and tourism. PATA provides leadership and advocacy to the collective efforts of nearly 100 government, state and city tourism bodies, more than 55 airlines and cruise lines, and hundreds of travel industry companies. In addition, thousands of travel professionals belong to dozens of PATA chapters worldwide. PATA is a not-forprofit organisation. Find out more at www.PATA.org.


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LOCAL NEWS

Naladhu Maldives, Joins Prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World Collection

Joining the ranks of some of the most prestigious properties worldwide, Naladhu Maldives, the pristine paradise island with just 19 houses has joined the esteemed Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).

wall panels juxtapose the zesty Indian motifs and colours of the house upholstery. Antique furnishings, such as an early 20th century writer’s desk and the decorous bar cabinet conjure up images of a romantic, bygone age.

The Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand is an unrivalled collection of over 440 independently-owned hotels in 70 countries. Each exclusive property boasts a unique character and charm all the while committing to a single standard of excellence guaranteeing guests an unsurpassed level of quality, service and luxury no matter their destination. SLH was recently ranked the top overall luxury hotel brand for 2007 by the New York-based Luxury Institute.

Naladhu provides the canvass and colour palette to those who wish to make their holiday picture perfect.

Since opening n March of this year, Naladhu Maldives has been named one of the world’s “Hottest” new resorts by Conde Nast Traveler in the 2007 “Hot List”. Other accolades have included the “Must Visit” list of The Times, London, and DestinAsian magazine’s Luxe list 2007.

For reservations please telephone +960 664-4100 or email: info@naladhu.com. For media enquiries please contact: Ms. Marion Walsh Brand Director Public Relations Email: mwalsh@naladhu.com Tel: + 66 (0) 2877 5803 Ext. 28 Mobile: + 66 (0) 89 811 3829 www.naladhu.com.

Located in the aquatic setting of the Maldives, one of the world’s most celebrated tropical havens, Naladhu Maldives offers a unique lifestyle to those who appreciate the sophistication and charm of times past. Naladhu has captured the elegant aesthetics of a slightly colonial era, with hints of Sri Lankan regality in its design. However, the resort also proffers every modern convenience imaginable to the luxury traveller. Naladhu means “pretty little island”, and each of the exclusive 19 Houses – each named after a Maldivian plant - has been designed to make every guest’s wish become reality. With a commitment to perfecting every detail, Naladhu fuses modern facilities with a sense of the nostalgia. White-washed timber HOSPITALITY MALDIVES ISSUE 16

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ENVIRONMENT

Hotel/Motel Waste Reduction Planning for an Ecological Property This waste reduction fact sheet is one in a series produced by the N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance (DPPEA) to assist the lodging industry and concerned professionals in efforts to reduce waste and enjoy the benefits of cost savings and a public image as environmentally responsible organizations.

Environmental efforts will help promote clean air, clean water and less dependence on landfills. Although many proven strategies are available to help lodging owners and mangers improve the bottom line and be good stewards of the environment, they often must show initiative and persistence to put these practices into place. This fact sheet outlines key elements of successful environmental programs. SUCCESS STRATEGIES 1 IDENTIFY AN ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPION Frequently, the enthusiasm and motivation of one person can make an environmental program succeed. It is not necessary that the facility’s “environmental champion” be a waste reduction specialist: many of these champions have come from areas as varied as personnel, food and beverage, administrative offices and engineering. The critical factors are that this individual is committed to environmental improvement, has the support of the general manager, and can work with employees at all levels and sectors of the facility. 2 OBTAIN MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT

Both new and veteran employees need specific and ongoing training on waste reduction techniques and practices - this educational effort can highlight the improvements that will protect the environment and save money for the facility. Environmental issues such as wastewater and garbage are not glamorous. If a facility is to approach environmental issues efficiently, however, it must set up a plan to deal with them. Many good reasons exist for planning to preserve the environment: To save money. Some facilities have cut operational costs by thousands of dollars through waste prevention, recycling, reuse and water and energy conservation. To get good publicity. This results in increased business and savings on advertising budgets. To be a good steward. That is, to preserve valuable community resources.

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The most important ingredient for successful environmental initiatives is owner/manager commitment to a plan to eliminate and reduce waste. Employees will be aware of the degree of commitment by management and will rise or fall to the level that is expected. When management sees, for example, that the facility can save $50 per lamp per year by switching from incandescent to fluorescent lamps (see Ecological Fact Sheet on Guest Rooms/Housekeeping), its commitment generally is assured.


ENVIRONMENT

3 CREATE AN ENVIRONMENTAL TEAM A successful environmental program needs information from all areas of the facility including housekeeping, restaurants, maintenance and management. An environmental team can act as a planning committee to (1) identify and evaluate opportunities to improve a facility’s environmental performance, (2) set a schedule to implement the strategies, and (3) monitor the program in terms of its goals. 4 CONDUCT AN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT The environmental team can identify and evaluate opportunities to improve a property’s environmental performance by conducting a simple walk-through of all parts of the facility, including guest rooms, kitchen, laundry facilities, restaurant, lobby, grounds, hallways and meeting rooms. This assessment should include an examination of water and electricity use as well as solid waste generation. A review of purchases, bills and hauling records complements the data gathered during a walk-through. 5 ESTABLISH GOALS Once there is an understanding of the property’s present environmental performance, the environmental team can set goals for improvement. Goals should include short- and long-term benchmarks, as in these examples: • Reduce electricity use by 20 percent during the next year. • Reuse or recycle all corrugated cardboard used by the facility. • Implement a sheet and towel reuse program within six months. • Donate excess banquet food to a local food reuse program during the winter holiday season.

cisions regarding transfers, promotions, and terminations, among other things. Evaluations provide valuable and necessary information on which judgments about employee potential are based. Excellent employees are identified through the process and can be developed to be future supervisors and managers. Evaluations supply vital documentation in matters of legal dispute. Legislative actions and court decisions have made it clear that decisions affecting women and members of minority groups, particularly in compensation and human resource planning, must be based on something more solid than intuition, hunches, and “gut feelings” about the individuals involved. These decisions must be supported by documented evidence — evidence provided by a carefully planned and administered performance evaluation program.

An ecological hotel should strive for continual improvement. Methods to assess the successes and shortcomings of the environmental program should be established.

6 TRAIN AND MOTIVATE STAFF Staff training is a crucial part of a property’s environmental performance. Both new and veteran employees need specific and ongoing training on waste reduction techniques and practices—for example, on collecting and storing recyclables. This educational effort also can highlight the improvements that will protect the environment and save money for the facility.

The N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance (DPPEA) provides free, non-regulatory technical assistance and training on methods to eliminate, reduce or recycle wastes b fore they become pollutants or require disposal. Telephone DPPEA at (919) 715-6500 or (800) 763-0136 or e-mail at nowaste@p2pays. org for further information about the issues discussed in this fact sheet or to discuss any of your waste reduction concerns.

7 EVALUATE AND MONITOR THE PROGRAM An ecological hotel should strive for continual improvement. Methods to assess the successes and shortcomings of the environmental program should be established. The program should be inspected periodically, and utility or other bills should be evaluated to track changes that result from environmental efforts. Evaluations are an invaluable means of assessing the status of the organization’s staffing needs. Evaluations help managers make deHOSPITALITY MALDIVES ISSUE 16

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SALES & MARKETING

unforgettable experience; making you feel very special, making you feel like you were the only guest there. I have to admit I never thought it could happen in a 3000-room hotel with more than 2000 employees and several thousand guests; I was wrong. So, what is the difference between a 15-room ‘boutique’ inn with a small intimate dining room, and a 3000-room ‘mega-boutique’ complex with 2 spas, 25 shops, and 9 food outlets? It surely is not the number of rooms and other physical facilities; could it be employee attitude, technical ability, and owner commitment? The only potential problem I can see is that the meaning of ‘boutique’ hotel could become unclear to the public. Guests who go to the 15-room inn usually have different expectations than those who go to the 3000-room mega-resort. Like so many other words, ‘boutique’ may come to mean whatever the user wants it to mean, and that could be different from the hearer’s interpretation. This could turn out to be a very minor problem, or no problem at all. If guests receive the creature comforts and the personalized services they want, it will matter little whether this magical experience occurs in a 15-room inn or a 3000-room resort. Those guests who demand the best, and are willing to pay for it will go where they find it and they will return. The label of ‘boutique’, ‘mega’, ‘mega-boutique’, or any other advertising jargon will quickly become meaningless. To paraphrase the Bard: ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a boutique hotel, By any other name would be as special’ Harry Nobles www.nobleshospitalityconsulting.com hospsvc001@aol.com

Is Mega Boutique Hotel An Oxymoron? In a September 2001 article we discussed the question: What is a Boutique Hotel? In that article we mentioned the number of rooms as one factor that has an impact on the correct usage of ‘boutique’; we even said that 100 rooms might be the upper limit. Things certainly have changed in five years. There seems to be no upper limit at this time. We have recently visited several very large hotels, some with 2000 rooms or more, and were pleasantly surprised to find that the combination of genuine staff cordiality, personalized service, and attention to detail resulted in a level of guest service delivery that we thought impossible at a mega-hotel. In that atmosphere one could almost forget that there were three to four thousand other guests in house, presumably experiencing the same level of service at the same time. That feeling may be compared to what I had previously experienced only in small family owned and operated properties with a few dedicated employees. Simply stated, one starts to believe that the staff only came to work that day because you were there as a guest. Their entire attention seems to be focused on making your stay an

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SALES & MARKETING

The Top Seven Sales Blunders

But this dialogue did nothing to convince me that I should buy from him. Instead, I left the store thinking that he did not care about my specific needs. A friend of mine is in the advertising business and often talks to prospects who initially request a quote for a specific advertising job. Instead of talking at great length about the ad agency’s experience and qualifications, he gets the potential client talking about her business. By doing this he is able to determine the most effective strategy for that prospect.

We all make mistakes when selling our product or service. Here are the most common mistakes people make. I have to admit I have made many of mistakes listed in this article even though I have been teaching this stuff for almost a decade. I hope you can learn from them.

4. Giving the prospect information that is irrelevant. When I worked in the corporate world I was subjected to countless presentations where the sales person shared information that was completely meaningless to me. I don’t care about your financial backing or who your clients are. Make the most of your presentation by telling me how I will benefit from your product or service until I know how your product or service relates to my specific situation.

By Kelley Robertson

1. Allowing a prospect to lead the sales process. The best way to control the sales interaction is to ask questions. This is also the best way of learning whether or not your product or service meets the needs of your prospect. Quality questions that uncover specific issues, problems, or corporate objectives are essential in helping you establish yourself as an expert. 2. Not completing pre-meeting research. After several weeks of voice mail I finally connected with my prospect and scheduled a meeting. Unfortunately, I entered the meeting without first researching the company. Instead of presenting a solution to an existing problem, I spent the entire meeting learning fundamental information, which to senior executives, is a complete waste of their time. This approach is one of most common mistakes. I have received countless phone calls from sales people hawking their wares and trying to sell me ‘stuff’ I have no need for. As a sole proprietor, I do not need a complex telephone system, additional employees, or an automated payroll system. Invest the time learning about your prospect before you call them and before you try to schedule a meeting. 3. Talking too much. Too many sales people talk too much during the sales interaction. They espouse about their product, its feature, their service and so on. When I first bought carpet for my home I recall speaking to a sales person who told me how long he had been in the business, how smart he was, how good his carpets were, etc.

5. Not being prepared. I remember calling a prospect expecting to receive his voice mail. That meant I was completely unprepared when he answered the call himself. Instead of asking him a series of qualifying questions I simply responded to his questions, allowing him to control the sale. Unfortunately, I didn’t progress any further than that initial call. When you make a cold call or attend a meeting with a prospect it is critical that you are prepared. This means having all relevant information at your fingertips including; pricing, testimonials, samples, and a list of questions you need to ask. I suggest creating a checklist of the vital information you will need and reviewing this list before you make your call. You have exactly one opportunity to make a great first impression and you will not make it if you are not prepared. 6. Neglecting to ask for the sale. I recall a participant in one of my workshops expressing interest in my book. I told him to look through it but at no time did I ask for the sale. Later, I heard him express this observation to other participants in the program. If you sell a product or service, you have the obligation to ask the customer for a commitment, particularly if you have invested time assessing their needs and know that your product or service will solve a problem. Many people are concerned with coming across as pushy but as long as you ask for the sale in a non-threatening, confident manner, people will usually respond favorably. 7. Failing to prospect. This is one of the most common mistakes independent business make. When business is good many people stop prospecting, thinking that the flow of business will continue. However, the most successful sales people prospect all the time. They schedule prospecting time in their agenda every week. Even the most seasoned sales professional makes mistakes from time to time. Avoid these blunders and increase the likelihood of the closing the sale. Copyright 2004, Kelley Robertson Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group, is a professional speaker and trainer on sales, negotiating, and employee motivation. He is also the author of “Stop, Ask & Listen – Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers.” For information on his programs, visit his website at www.RobertsonTrainingGroup.com. Receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his 59-Second Tip, a free weekly e-zine available at his website.

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HUMAN RESOURCES

Effective leaders see more in other people than people see in themselves, and one of your objectives as a leader is to bring their talents to the surface. Understanding the three fundamental elements that affect performance will build team loyalty and cohesiveness. These elements are communication, motivation, and emotions. Communication You’ve probably heard that people tend to follow three basic communication styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Each of us is a mix of all three, and our dominant style usually dictates how we communicate. If the person with whom you are talking has a different style, the message may be misunderstood. You certainly don’t want that. Let me give you a few traits that identify the three styles. Visual Communicators speak and read quickly. They would rather read than be read to. They remember what they see, rather than what they hear. When you give them instructions, make sure they’re written, because they may forget verbal information. They need an overall view and purpose, and are cautious until mentally clear about an issue or project. They are good long-range planners and organizers. They are neat, orderly, and appearance-oriented, in both dress and presentation. Auditory Communicators need to hear something to learn it. They may experience difficulties with written instructions, preferring to hear them. They may also find writing to be a challenge, and are better at communicating verbally. They learn by listening,

Leadership Effectiveness The Power of Communications, Motivation, and Emotions By Brian Walsh

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Kinesthetic Communicators perform best in an experiential environment. They need to touch, feel, and experience things in order to understand. They speak slowly, use action words, and want to act things out. They may have messy handwriting, and they learn more effectively when physically active. They cannot sit still for long periods of time. In schools, kinesthetic learners are often labeled hyperactive. This may be your team member who volunteers to do the demonstrations. When you give presentations, whether to your team or the public, keep in mind that your audience is made up of all three styles. Usually, the visual and auditory learners are satisfied with a person talking and using visual aids, but what about the kinesthetic learners? Include exercises, or simply get people to stand up, find a partner and debrief what was just presented. People with dissimilar learning styles will grasp different parts of your presentation, and sharing enhances the learning experience for everyone.

“A company with internal dissension is drained of energy before it has a chance to devote itself to its proper purpose.” Motivation All leaders want to motivate their troops, and you’re no exception, right? Would it help you to have a better understanding of some of the triggers that encourage people to take action? Here are the top five, in no particular order. • • • • •

A drive to achieve and succeed A desire to be appreciated and needed A requirement to have things just right and orderly A necessity for autonomy and self-reliance A constraint to be safe and secure

Of course there are many more, but these will give you a good start. So, where do these triggers originate? They are components of the belief systems that begin to develop at a very young age. Our neurological systems are all wired differently, and we all have different nurturing experiences. As the saying goes, “You are unique, just like everyone else.” Now, how can you capitalize on this knowledge? It’s a two-step plan. First, get to know your people and discover their “hot buttons” - their triggers. Then, help them set goals that satisfy both your organization’s fiscal requirements, and their own personal needs, taking into account their triggers. Benchmarks and timelines, along with measurable targets, will keep the focus on outcome and not just process.

Emotions HUMAN RESOURCES

and they remember what was discussed rather than what was seen. They are frequently eloquent speakers, are talkative, and love discussions. They prefer to learn by taking teleclasses and listening to audio lessons.

A person’s ability to effectively act and think is intimately linked with his or her physical and emotional well-being. Long-term exposure to threat, conflict, or humiliation will damage self-esteem, and may result in a vortex of negative emotions, self-limiting beliefs, apathy, anxiety, fear, mistrust, immature coping behaviors, and a diminished interest and ability to process information. As a team leader, you have the responsibility of being a guide, an information provider, and a role model. Unreasonable demands to achieve a quota may work in the short term, but it will backfire later in the form of resentment and distrust. So, what do you do if one of your team displays such characteristics? Well, first of all, your role as mentor, guide, and team leader does not include psychotherapy. All of us go through periods of having the blues, and these are just normal cycles. In these instances, just be understanding and supportive. If symptoms persist or escalate, you may have a problem. Is this your problem? As a business professor of mine used to say, “It depends.” Has this person ever been a productive team player? How long has this person been with you? Aside from recommending professional help, you may be playing a greater role in their life than you think. You and your team may be the only meaningful family that he or she has. Think of that before you make any decisions. An environment of unconditional love may be just what this person has been missing all along. J. C. Penney advised, “A company with internal dissension is drained of energy before it has a chance to devote itself to its proper purpose.” High self-esteem and self-confidence boost effectiveness on the job, and create team loyalty.

Effective leaders see more in other people than people see in themselves, and one of your objectives as a leader is to bring their talents to the surface. Summary As a leader, you want to be as effective as possible. How you relate with and inspire your staff has a direct consequence on your bottom line. Understanding what makes your team members tick will place you in a better position to influence their attitude and foster their success.

Bestselling author and international speaker, Brian E. Walsh retired from a 30-year management career to further his earlier interest in NLP and hypnotherapy. He returned to formal study, and within four years had achieved his PhD. Dr. Walsh regularly conducts workshops and teleclasses on enriched learning. He is a master practitioner of NLP, an acupuncture detoxification specialist, an EFT practitioner, and a clinical hypnotherapist. His eZine, “Personal Enrichment Digest” has subscribers around the world. His most recent release is a 90-miniute DVD of his presentation, “Enriched Learning”. He has also co-authored with John Gray and Jack Canfield in the self-help book, “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life: Volume 2.” His website is http://www.WalshSeminars.com

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LOCAL NEWS

Maldivian Keells Hulhule Island Hotel Resort rated as one of Proudly Announces the 99 most favourite December Promotions hotels worldwide Velidhu Island Resort, Maldives, managed by John Keells Hotels has been selected by the users as one of the 99 most favourite hotels world-wide by “Holiday Check” for the season of 2006/ 2007. “Holiday Check” offers travellers’ the possibility to publish their opinions and holiday experiences on the Internet. With more than 200,000 visitors per day and a collection of more than 640,000 hotel reviews, Holidaycheck .de is one of the leading German speaking websites.

Exclusively based on opinions published by guests, 99 hotels have received this award. This makes the Holiday Check Award unique as it is the holidaymakers’ experience which counts. To become one of the favourite hotels you needed a high recommendation rate in combination with lots of published reviews. The evaluation process is based on 214,881 hotel reviews that have been submitted. Located in the North of Ari Atoll just 80 km from Male, Velidhu Island Resort consists of 80 beach bungalows and 20 “over water “bungalows which offer all the comforts and charm that make its visitors truly cherish their holiday. The leisure sector of John Keells Holdings offers many out of the world vacations in both the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

In recognition of the hard work, sincerity, dedication and the contribution, Hulhule Island Hotel announced promotions for the team members in December 2007. The internal promotions also assisted in filling up the positions which were available due to the recent development and expansion of the hotel.

Standing from left, first row: Mr. Faisal (Guest Services Officer), Mr. Ali (HR Manager), Mr. Utkarsh (General Manager) and Mr. Mahir (Waiter). Standing from left, second row: Mr. Ibrahim (Demi Chef De Partie), Mr. Zunair (Laundry Attendant), Mr. Habeeb (Captain), Mr. Jaleel (Laundry Attendant), Mr. Jobish (Bartender), Mr. Shyam (Laundry Supervisor) and Mr. Mohamed (Commis I). Standing from left, last row: Mr. Bhattarai (Chief Steward), Mr. Das (Bartender), Mr. Ravi (Demi Chef De Partie), Mr. Gireesh (Housekeeping Supervisor), Mr. Siddeeq (Finance Assistant). Apart from the above promotions, 20 more team members of Hulhule Island Hotel were rewarded and recognized due to their outstanding performance and contribution. All the best wishes to you all

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LOCAL NEWS

Wizards of Chaaya and Cinnamon - Maldives and stated that this sort of competition, which is fun based learning, is the best way to train. Further she stated that she wishes to see such competition with participants from all hotels and resorts in the country. The overall winners of this first “Wizards of Chaaya & Cinnamon Alidhoo” are: • • • • A combination of hotel level and sector level competitions named “Wizards of Chaaya & Cinnamon Alidhoo” was inaugurated in Maldives for all 5 hotels operated under the JKH Leisure group recently. The program started in mid October with the commencement of training programs to all members of staff in F & B service, Front office and Housekeeping with the following main objectives: • • • • • •

To develop a pool of high quality staff delivering outstanding performance in all Cinnamon & Chaaya properties To identify the hidden talents of especially local staff and develop them to great height To boast the moral of hotel teams To reward and recognize the winners To increase the product knowledge and selling skills of staff And most importantly the development of Maldivian staff to the hospitality industry

The following competitions form the “Wizards of Chaaya & Cinnamon Alidhoo” program: • • • • •

Front Office Quiz F & B Quiz Housekeeping Competition Cocktail Competition Mocktail Competition

A total of 250 front line staff was trained for these competitions over a period of two and a half months, resulting in over 2,000 contact hours. Preliminary rounds were held in November in all hotels in Maldives with the Grand Final on the 17th December 2007 at Dhonveli Beach and Spa. Chief Guest of the competition and following award ceremony was Mrs. Mariyam Noordeen, Director General Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training. In her key note address Mrs. Mariyam Noordeen thanked the JKH Group for their commitment on the development of Maldivian staff

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Champion - Front Office Competition: Ahamad Shazmee, Chaaya Lagoon Champion - Housekeeping Competition: Ahmad Sujau, Chaaya Lagoon Champion - Food & Beverage Quiz: Dipok Kumar, Dhonveli Champion - Flair Cocktail Competition Jeevana Perera, Dhonveli Champion - Flair Mocktail Competition: Jaadhulla Abdulla, Chaaya Lagoon

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Right to left: Champion - Front Office Competition Ahamad Shazmee – Chaaya Lagoon Champion - Housekeeping Competition Ahmad Sujau - Chaaya Lagoon Champion - Flair Mocktail Competition Jaadhulla Abdulla – Chaaya Lagoon Champion - Flair Cocktail Competition Jeevana Perera - Dhonveli Champion - Food & Beverage Quiz Dipok Kumer Pall - Dhonveli


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By Zulkifli Musa

1. Start your work at 10am Even though you come in the morning at 8am, spend some time doing things that are not related to your work first. Go down for breakfast, and have someone to chat with about last night’s World Cup football match between England and Brazil. Spend as much as half an hour in the pantry, drinking coffee while looking out through the office window. When reaching your desk, grab and read a newspaper first. Or go visit your favourite networking websites e.g. Friendster, MySpace, Facebook and so on before commencing your real work. 2. Only do things that you asked to and those within your job scope That’s right. You are too occupied to do anything else. Never go the extra miles and never volunteer to do tasks which are out of your responsibilities. When asked, just tell your colleagues or your boss, “Clearly, this is not in my job description. Here is my job description; you can go through it and confirm it.” Why doing extra work, since the pay is the same? They are not going to pay you any extra allowance or incentive anyway, so why bother? 3. Submit your report 2 days after the deadline This is a sure-fire way to stamp your position as a below-average employee. When asked for reason why the report is late, come out with 5-7 excuses that will shut your boss’ mouth. For sure, your list of excuses are convincing enough - your house was on fire, your car broke down, you lost your cat, your laptop got stolen, you have uncle’s family visiting and so on. What can your boss do? At most, give you a warning letter. So, not a pretty big deal. You won’t lose your job, yet.

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HUMAN RESOURCES

7 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Employees

4. Complain a lot Complain about your salary, since the amount is considered peanut compared to the living standard you are living in. Complain about your year end bonus. How come you get half month bonus while most of your colleagues got 3 to 4 month bonuses? After all, you come at 8am in the morning like everybody else. Why should your reward be any different? Complain about the nonexistence of team work in your team when the fact is that you are the weakest link. It is time to scapegoat. For sure, you can’t be that scapegoat, so let’s point to someone else. 5. Gossip a lot Yes, I heard you. What more can brighten your day other than gossiping? Gossip about your boss’ affair with the cleaning lady working next door. Gossip about Spice Girls re-uniting. Also, remember to involve in office politic. A lot. Tell your colleague next to you why you should be promoted instead of Tom, who sits opposite of you. This is imperative since Tom is a high achiever and has the edge against you, who is there just to make up numbers. So, badmouth a lot. This is a good exercise for you, as in some way it sharpens your sales and persuasion skills! 6. Take 2 hour lunch Instead of 1 hour, take 2 hour lunch. As a matter of fact, the longer it is the better. You don’t want to be stuck in your office doing something that you don’t like, do you? And don’t forget to take as many breaks as possible. At least take breaks three times per day morning break, lunch and tea break in the afternoon. There is no reason for you to be too attached to the company you are working with since it is not your own company. So why should you care the amount of time you really do your work? 7. Engage in other business during working hours Since your salary is only that much, then you need to find ways to get more or additional income. What better way then selling stuff to your colleagues? After all, you bump into them countless number of times everyday, 5 days per week. They are your biggest prospects. Sell your Amway products after the weekly morning meeting. Sign them up with your insurance company provider before dashing off to meet clients. Yes, you may get caught by your employer. But don’t forget you have a very strong reason for that - they rejected your request for salary increment! Zulkifli Musa is a freelance specialist (http://www.ZulkifliMusa.com), a founder of a career consultancy website, SKOR Career (http://skorcareer.com.my/blog), and author of The Malaysian Jobseeker Dilemma ebook (http://www.TheJobSeekerDilemma.com).

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HUMAN RESOURCES

By Jeff N Ross

Why Hospitality Employers are Poor at Replying to Job Applications By Jeff Ross

Why do hospitality employers not respond to job applications? – This is a question that I often get asked by young hospitality students and alumni. A fair question if this is indeed the case, and seemingly it is. Just this month I visited 3 hotel schools in Switzerland and during the question and answer session at the end of my presentation, I asked if anyone had directly experienced this scenario. Approximately 70% of the students indicated that they had submitted job applications in response to an advertisement, and they had never received a response from the prospective employer. There are of course two sides to every coin, and one can empathise with both parties. On the one hand, from an employer’s perspective, the volume of applications (especially via email) to a job posting can be extremely high and consequently very time consuming to process. This in itself, of course, is no excuse not to reply. Quality and relevance of job applications are perhaps the biggest factors behind lack of employer response, and the feedback we have received from certain hospitality employers is that if the applicant cannot make the effort to produce an error-free cover letter (or email) and CV,

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then they are not prepared to invest time in any response to the applicant. Harsh words, but understandable to an extent in situations where an application has clearly been sent without thought or suitability to the job posting. The moral issue remains however, whether every applicant is entitled to a response and some feedback about their job application. In an ideal world, yes indeed! On the other hand, from an applicant’s perspective, the consensus is clear. All applicants want and expect a response to every application they make, even if it is a simple regret from the employer. What can be done therefore to narrow this expectation gap? Applicants should: •

Make more effort to tailor their applications (via a cover letter or cover email) to the advertised position, rather than using a generic template that is obviously standardised and often inappropriate;

More critically self-evaluate their suitability for a role before applying;


Make the effort to find out the correct contact person and details when sending speculative applications;

Undertake greater research on the employer, and utilise some of this learning within their application specifically; and

Not be afraid to follow up with the employer within a reasonable time frame, in a professional manner, if they have not received a response.

Employers should: •

Implement (or revisit) Human Resources policy on this theme, regulating standards for replying to all applications;

Consider specifying the above policy within the job posting; and

Make as much effort as possible to clearly define the application criteria and requirements for every job posting.

Hospitality employers are increasingly seeking technological assistance to manage the burden of application responses. International hotel chains are in particular going down this route at considerable expense. Clearly therefore there is recognition within the industry that there is room for improvement, and that there are benefits in managing application responses more effectively.

Certainly such technological systems will increase their ability to maintain a CV database, to aid organisational succession planning, and, importantly, to automate application responses and to control the physical format of applications. On the negative side, such technology can be highly impersonal (to the applicant), and of course what you get out of it is only as good as what goes in, so such systems can be administratively burdensome and can become high maintenance processes.

HUMAN RESOURCES

There is no easy solution for managing and responding to applications, and ultimately each employer must evaluate the impact that their response processes have upon the applicant, and future recruitment needs. General innovation in recruitment strategy and methods are becoming a clearer priority for many of the world’s leading employers, and rightly so. Hospitality Graduate Recruitment, h-g-r, helps global hospitality employers find hotel-school graduates, undergraduates and alumni for entry level, supervisory and junior management positions. h-g-r operates a leading web-based database which allows you to search for candidates and allows graduates to apply online to vacancies. hg-r works with over 150 global hospitality management schools and universities, producing a diverse database of fresh talent. Visit www.h-g-r.com for more information or contact Jeff N Ross, Managing Director, Hospitality Graduate Recruitment, Tribschenstrasse 70, Luzern, 6006, Switzerland, Tel Direct: +41 41 370 6759, jeff@h-g-r.com

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LOCAL NEWS

shower, oversized bathtub and direct access to the beach. Overwater villas will have five-fixture bathrooms, a daybed on a large private sundeck and will provide direct access to the lagoon. All villas will have their own private plunge pool. The resort will offer its guests a choice of five food and beverage outlets: an all-day restaurant and two specialty restaurants, two bars and an underground wine cellar. Both specialty restaurants, which will come with their own bars and outdoor areas for al fresco dining, will be located over water to offer its patrons more than just an experience for the palate. While the Beach Bar and Grill is located on

Marriott International to enter the Maldives with a 100-villa Renaissance Resort in 2009 Source : ehotelier.com

The first Marriott International-branded resort in The Republic of Maldives, one of the world’s premiere resort destinations, will open in 2009 under a management agreement with ADK Travels Private Ltd. The five-star, 100-villa Renaissance Maldives Gaakoshibee Resort & Spa on Gaakoshibee island in the Shaviyani Atoll, will be located about a 55-minute flight by seaplane from Male, the capital city of The Maldives. The island is largely untouched with dense foliage throughout and boasts a pristine white sand beach fronting the resort. Like other islands in The Maldives, Gaakoshibee offers rare underwater beauty along with a profusion of psychedelic colors and an abundance and variety of underwater life that promise to fascinate divers and snorkelers alike. “We are thrilled to soon be part of the tourism infrastructure of The Maldives,” said Ed Fuller, president & managing director of international lodging at Marriott. “Its unique ‘One Island, One Resort’ approach to tourism delivers an exclusive and private holiday experience that is almost impossible to replicate elsewhere. It is what has made The Maldives one of the primary destinations for holiday-goers and honeymooners from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and elsewhere. We are confident this Renaissance resort will be hugely successful from day one.” “We are delighted to be associated with Marriott International and we are confident that together we will offer a unique holiday experience in the Maldives this is both interesting and fulfilling to our guests,” said Hassan Fazal Hussain, managing director of ADK Travels. “We are sure that both our partnership with Marriott International and the resort that will be managed under this partnership will be enormously successful.” Marriott’s Renaissance brand appeals to travellers who like things to be “interesting.” They expect the hotels they select to embody the locale and to help them live life to the fullest, and to help them “take it all in.” For them, travel is an adventure to be savored with gusto. The Renaissance Maldives Gaaskishibee Resort & Spa will offer a mix of spacious beach and over-water villas. Beach villas will have a private garden, indoor/outdoor five-fixture bathroom, an outdoor

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the southern end of the island, the Sunset Bar on the western side of the resort will be conveniently attached to the Mediterranean specialty restaurant. Recreational amenities will include an over-water Spa with eight treatment rooms, four of which will be over water, and a beauty/ barber shop; a health and fitness centre; a discovery centre; a library; an Olympic-sized lap pool, a lagoon pool and a kid’s pool; , a water sports centre, a diving centre, a kids’ club and a games room/ recreation pavilion. Additional amenities will encompass a gift and sundry shop, a CD and DVD library with internet facilities and laundry and valet service. About Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR): Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company with more than 2,900 lodging properties in the United States and 67 other countries and territories. Marriott International operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The RitzCarlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Bulgari brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club, Horizons by Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Grand Residences by Marriott brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centers. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and had approximately 151,000 employees at 2006 year-end. It is ranked as the lodging industry’s most admired company and one of the best places to work for by FORTUNE®. The company is also a 2006 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Partner. In fiscal year 2006, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $12.2 billion. For more information please visit www.marriott.com.


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SERVICE

Five Strategies to Deal with an

Unsatisfied Customer By Kelley Robertson

Put yourself in the customer’s position. How would you be reacting if the same situation happened to you? While you may not respond in the same manner, this approach can help you better understand the problem or concern by giving you a different perspective. Customer service is the backbone to every business, right? So why do the majority of retail people lack customer service skills? I believe the root of the problems lies in the fact that many organizations do not teach their employees how to deal with customers who have a problem. Here are five strategies that will help you manage the situation when you find yourself face-to-face with an unsatisfied customer. First, apologize. Regardless of how minor or severe the situation, make sure you apologize. In many cases, this simple step is enough to resolve the situation. I remember buying a dozen bagels one Sunday afternoon. The shop was extremely busy and things were hectic. When I arrived home with my bag of bagels I discovered that I had received someone else’s order. I was a bit frustrated but understood that mistakes happen. However, this did mean that I had to return to the store, wait in line and explain the situation, taking up precious time on a much-needed day off. Time is a precious commodity to me and I wanted someone at the store to apologize for the inconvenience. I was disappointed. Sure, they replaced my

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SERVICE

order without hesitation but the employee showed no concern for the mistake or the inconvenience it caused me. It was a long time before I returned to that store again.

Delivering great customer service in today’s retail world of big-box stores will help give you a competitive advantage. When I first began selling products from my website I quickly learned that not everyone is experienced at ordering on-line. This caused some confusion and several upset customers. Fortunately, a sincere apology and quick response to each situation helped resolve the issues. The second strategy is to listen to the customer. Let them tell you about their situation. This tends to be the most challenging aspect of dealing with unsatisfied customers because they often lose their temper and become difficult to listen to. However, it is an extremely effective strategy because it gives the customer time to vent their emotions. Until their emotions are addressed, you won’t make much headway in solving their concern. It is also critical that you do not interrupt them while they express their anger and frustration. Although it may seem like it takes forever for them to tell you their problem, most people run out of steam in less than a minute. Some people tend to use profanity when they get angry. Here is an effective technique I learned from a video to diffuse this situation. Substitute the offensive word – usually beginning with the letter ‘F’ – with the word “pumpkin.” Although it sounds funny, the rational is that words by themselves are not offensive; it is our interpretation of them. So, when we use a substitute word we reduce the emotion component of the offensive word. Stay calm and don’t take the abuse personally. In the end, you will come up the winner. Third, take responsibility for the problem. In my customer service workshops we discuss the importance of assuming responsibility for the mistake even if it was caused by someone else – which is usually the case. Your customers don’t care who is at fault. They just want their problem fixed. Several years ago I returned a rental car at an airport and was presented a bill that was more than I had been quoted when I made the reservation. Instead of quickly resolving the issue – I had a flight to catch which compounded the situation – the counter person and several of her coworkers tried to figure out how the mistake occurred and who was responsible for it. In fact, the supervisor also got involved and subtlety accused me of making up the price to save

some money. It was not until I threatened to complain to their head office that the problem was remedied. And, it was done quickly. The employees spent 15 minutes trying to figure out who to blame and less than 60 seconds to actually correct the problem. The fourth technique is to avoid specific hot phrases such as; “that’s our policy,” “I can’t do that,” and “you should have…” No one likes to hear statements such as these even if they are appropriate to use. Fifth, put yourself in the customer’s position. How would you be reacting if the same situation happened to you? While you may not respond in the same manner, this approach can help you better understand the problem or concern by giving you a different perspective. Be cognizant of your tone of voice and body language. Make sure that what you say and how you say reflects the severity of the situation. Delivering great customer service in today’s retail world of big-box stores will help give you a competitive advantage. It is much easier to teach a team of five or ten employees the concepts mentioned above than it is to execute them consistently with a staff of a hundred of more.

Avoid specific hot phrases such as; “that’s our policy,” “I can’t do that,” and “you should have…” No one likes to hear statements such as these even if they are appropriate to use. Copyright 2004 Kelley Robertson Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group, works with businesses to help them increase their sales and motivate their employees. He is also the author of “Stop, Ask & Listen – Proven sales techniques to turn browsers into buyers.” Visit his website at www.RobertsonTrainingGroup.com and receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his 59-Second Tip, a free weekly e-zine.

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Schihab A. Adam, Executive Pastry Chef The Beach House at Manafaru Maldives

RECIPE

For the mousse: 500 ml whipped cream 185 g white chocolate 115 g caster sugar 243 g frozen egg white 5 no gelatins leaves 120 mango purée 120 strawberry purée Crispy sponge: 150 g butter 150 g caster sugar 3 no separated 100 g cake flour 50 g hazelnut powder 20 g corn flour

Method for mousse: 1. Caster sugar, egg white beat high speed same as French meringues 2. Soaked gelatins leaves in cold water 3. Melt gelatin in microwave oven then add in to melted chocolate cool it down to 25ºC 4. Add whipped cream in to chocolate mixture then carefully fold in into meringues 5. Separate the mixture by adding each 120 g mango purée and 120 g strawberry purée. 6. Add the first layer sponge then mousse second layer sponge, third layer mousse final topped with strawberry jelly For 1. 2. 3. 4.

the hazelnut sponge: Cream the butter and sugar. Add the Egg yolks one at a time and continue beating. Mix the flour, corn flour and hazelnuts together. Fold the dry ingredients and the stiffly beaten egg whites into 5. the creamed mixture alternately. 6. Pour into a greased baking tray and bake for 20 Method for the sorbet: 1. Combine water and sugar, glucose in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat 2. until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Cool completely. 3. Purée apple slices and sugar syrup in processor until mixture is as smooth as possible. 4. Transfer apple mixture to Pacolet or ice cream machine churn to frozen. To Assemble and Serve: 1. Cut out mousse rectangle shape 11 X 1⁄3 CM. 2. Spoon of mango sauce & raspberry sauce and isomalt sugar stick and sugar, Scoop of apple sorbet

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Mango and Strawberry Mousse Cake Slice with Calvados Green Apple Sorbet.


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MISCELLANEOUS

Policies and Procedures ‘Not Just for Large Organizations’ By Jeannette Lannon

Ask any President of a large organization if they feel policies and procedures are important to their organization and the immediate answer will be “Yes!” But what about small or mid-size companies? Is it as important for them? Consider the following story. An employee of a company is working late one night. He completes his work and before going home, decides to check out a few websites for his own personal interest- including a few questionable ones. The boss learns that this is

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Policies and procedures are needed to have a consistent day-to-day operation in your organization. Although every organization may need different policies and procedures they should also have some similar, such as hiring, leave of absences, retirement, technology usage, termination, harassment, and confidentiality.

MISCELLANEOUS

a typical occurrence and that it is also very disruptive to the whole office. As there is no policy on computer use in place, it is difficult to do anything about it. It is easy to see that this situation could happen in any organization large or small, therefore, it is very important that all organizations have policies and procedures and that the employees are aware of its existence. In order to understand the importance of policies and procedures, let’s first look at what they mean.

It’s easy to see that having policies and procedures will benefit both the employee and the employer regardless of the size of the organization. It will provide guidance to the employees and direction to the managers. Having policies and procedures can save you money and enhance retention contributing to your bottom line.

Having policies and procedures can save you money and enhance retention contributing It’s easy to see that having policies and procedures will to your bottom line. benefit both the employee and the employer regardless of the A policy is a written statement clearly indicating the position and value of the organization on a given subject. It contains rules and size of the organization. It will tells one what to do. If the company in the opening story had a computer policy indicating exactly what the employee’s computer provide guidance to the is to be used for, it would have been a lot easier to deal with the situation. employees and direction to the A procedure is a written set of instructions. It has logical step-bymanagers. step directions on how to carry out the policy. It tells one how to perform a set of tasks. Policies and procedures have major differences, some of which are identified below. Policies • • • • •

Global in nature Does not change often Broad terms and requirements Explains what and why Approved by the board

Procedures • • • • •

Specific actions are identified Continually improved upon Detailed description of activities Explains how, when and who Enforced by management

BraveWorld Inc. ©2007 (www.braveworld.ca) Jeannette Lannon is an experienced human resource professional. She has over 20 years of professional small and big business experience. She has served the management consulting, healthcare, telecommunications, oil and gas, utilities, technology and construction industries. She is an experienced human resource professional with logistic and change, recruitment advisory, policies and procedures, collective agreements, resource support and performance monitoring expertise. Jeannette is a graduate of the University of Calgary Human Resource Management Certificate program and has corporate training in Conflict Resolution, Union Contract Interpretation and Collective Agreements Administration.

Let’s look further into why policies and procedures are important. Having clearly written policies and procedures contributes to the long-term stability and safety of your organization by: • •

• • •

Serving as a blueprint for growth of your organization. Giving management the ability to let their employees manage themselves rather than management micro-managing their staff. Providing a clear understanding of your organization’s mission, values and vision. Allowing a continuity of services throughout your organization and assisting in training new employees. Providing employees with a clear process of how to do their job and how the organization works.

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LOCAL NEWS

Corporate Re-Branding of Hulhule Island Hotel Hulhule Island Hotel was officially inaugurated on August 15, 2001 by the Hon’ President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The hotel has earned a considerable number of compliments for both its high quality and personalised services since then. Hulhule Island Hotel was also adjudged as the ‘Best Culinary Establishment’ at Maldives in the last Hotel Asia Exhibition & Culinary Challenge.

The new wing construction was planned and is nearing completion now comprising 51 deluxe and super deluxe rooms that will have superior style, design theme and finishes. To top it off, all the guest rooms will have a better sea view as this wing will be closer to the sea and with a balcony with each of

The initial hotel operations commenced with the following on offer for the guests:

the rooms. In this new wing, Hulhule Island Hotel shall also be extending other facilities such as a rooftop restaurant with a panoramic view of both Male and the Indian Ocean. The revised inventory for Hulhule Island Hotel shall be 136 rooms inclusive of various categories of rooms on offer.

• • • •

88 rooms Swimming Pool Faru Coffee House Captains Fun Pub

Hulhule Island Hotel held the groundbreaking ceremony for its new guest wing on July 17, 2006 to formally kick off the construction for the new wing and is scheduled to commence operations in January 2008.

The market segments for the hotel were purely based on transit guests and short layover of airline crews. The average length of stay for a guest was less than 24 hrs as Hulhule Island Hotel was positioned as the transit hotel or an airport hotel only.

Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar, General Manager - Hulhule Island Hotel guiding Dr. Mausoom, Director General - Maldives Tourism Promotion Bureau through the display of collaterals with the new logo.

The new logo showcased at the Front desk of Hulhule Island Hotel with effect from January 02, 2008.

In Hulhule Island Hotel’s pursuit of continuous improvement and to serve the more discerning travelers even better, the following developments took place over the last couple of years:

The team of Hulhule Island Hotel has already been working towards these developments and will boast of the following facilities in next couple of months:

• • • • • •

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At-site cooking counter Commenced operations in January 2005 Gymnasium Commenced operations in April 2005 Champs Bar Commenced operations in November 2006 Spa Commenced operations in June 2007 Renovated lobby Commenced operations in October 2007 New Café for team Commenced operations in November 2007

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• • • • • • • • • • •

51 guest rooms – Deluxe, Super Deluxe and Super Deluxe with Jacuzzi New accommodation for team New recreation room for team Rooftop restaurant Uduvilaa Sunset deck Beach with service counter Tennis court Soft refurbishment of all existing rooms Refurbishment of Faru Coffee House Golf putting green New landscaping


HUMAN RESOURCES

As is evident from the upcoming developments, Hulhule Island Hotel has not only focused on creating the new facilities for the guests but the upgrade of the existing guest facilities and the facilities offered to the team members has also been an integral part on the agenda. The segment of clientele for Hulhule Island Hotel has expanded over the years as the business clientele and guests on leisure have also started patronizing the hotel. Moreover, with the enhanced offer, the positioning of Hulhule Island Hotel has improved tremendously as earlier it was considered as an ‘Airport Hotel’ or a ‘Transit hotel’ only reflecting on the limited facilities on offer for the guests. The on-going journey towards continual improvement in the product and services has been in line with the market need since Hulhule Island Hotel caters to the clientele of a lot of top-end resorts. The improved Hulhule Island Hotel will continue to make their stay in Maldives more memorable. The corporate re-branding of Hulhule Island Hotel will provide a competitive edge and a better positioning in the market. The right positioning will further facilitate Hulhule Island Hotel to be able to reach the target markets and explore the newer market segments. The new corporate branding signifies the new look of Hulhule Island Hotel i.e. more dynamic, vibrant, fresher, modern and contemporary, symbolising the hotel’s aspirations and the renewed vigour of the entire Team.

It will be the endeavor of the Management and entire Team to take the hospitality of Hulhule Island Hotel to even greater heights with the completion of exciting project. It demonstrates the efforts of Hulhule Island Hotel to support and grow the aviation and tourism industry in Maldives.

On January 02, 2008 the event started with the presentation of Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar, General Manager - Hulhule Island Hotel detailing the Corporate re-branding and the upcoming developments to the media followed by a question – answer session. Dr. Mausoom, Director General - Maldives Tourism Promotion Bureau was the guest of honour on the occasion who spoke very highly of Hulhule Island Hotel and praised the efforts of Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar and his team in recognizing the need to raise the standards further for the tourists visiting Maldives. The Chef’s creations of refreshments for the evening were well relished by one and all. The guests were happy to spend some time seeing the impressive display of the hotel collaterals with the new logo.

Beyond Amenities Pvt. Ltd. (exclusive distributer) G. Kathlyn, L4, Daisy Magu, Male’, Republic of Maldives MALDIVES T: +960 3344657 F: +960 3344658 HOSPITALITY E: sales@beyondmenities.com ISSUE 16

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LOCAL NEWS

Banyan Tree builds preschool on the island of Feydhoo, Maldives Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru has built and launched a new preschool for children aged three to five on the island of Feydhoo in the Shaviyani atoll of The Maldives. The construction and development of the project is in line with Banyan Tree’s aim to comply with the United Nation’s eight Millennium Development Goals.

For more information on Banyan Tree’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, please visit www.banyantree.com/greenimperative/ index.htm

The school comprises three classrooms with a total capacity of 60 students and provides a spacious, clean and inspiring environment for children to learn. Other facilities include an enclosed play area, administrative office, and a multi-purpose room that can be used for women’s committee meetings and educational classes for parents.

The eight goals set by the United Nations are as follows:

This inaugural project was funded by the Green Imperative Fund (GIF) which constitutes voluntary contributions by guests, that are in turn matched dollar for dollar by the resort. Coordinated by skilled associates from Banyan Tree Maldives, Vabbinfaru, the building was constructed by the local islanders which in turn generated additional income for the community. The project overcame various challenges, including the lack of a jetty, while hard work and dedication ensured the building was completed within three and a half months, ahead of the anticipated five-month schedule. By establishing a proper, conducive classroom setting, together with an enclosed playground, the children would be motivated to attend classes at school. The facilities also allow teachers to conduct classes in smaller groups, hence providing better care and attention to those who need the extra support. Following its completion, the school has received encouraging response from the local community, as well as several new student enrolments.

About United Nations Eight Millennium Development Goals

• • • • • • • •

Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger Achieving universal primary education Promoting gender equality and empower women Reducing child mortality Improving maternal health Combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases Ensuring environmental sustainability Developing a global partnership for development

About Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts Banyan Tree offers an intimate retreat experience featuring its own signature blend of romance and Asian sensuality. The philosophy behind the hotels, resorts, spas and galleries is based on providing a place for rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul - a Sanctuary for the Senses. Banyan Tree resorts are found in Phuket, Thailand (1994), Maldives Vabbinfaru (1995), Bintan, Indonesia (1995), Bangkok, Thailand (2002), Seychelles (2002), Ringha, China (2005), Lijiang, China (2006), Bahrain (2007) and Maldives Madivaru (2007). Flagship Banyan Tree Phuket was the first to introduce a tropical garden spa concept. About Angsana Resorts & Spas Launched in 2000, Angsana is the sister brand of Banyan Tree, inspired by the exotic Angsana Tree noted for its crown of golden flowers. Angsana resorts are designed as contemporary, chic and vibrant retreats to live life spontaneously and sense the moment. Angsana resorts are found in Bintan, Indonesia (2000), Great Barrier Reef, Australia (2000), Bangalore, India (2001), Maldives Ihuru (2001), Maldives Velavaru (2006) and Morocco (2007).

The project has been managed and coordinated by the resort’s Director of Conservation, Mr Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem. He comments, “We are gratified with this achievement and have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and support from parents. Details of the success of the project have spread throughout The Maldives and we have already been asked to replicate this model in other nearby atolls. Our aim now is to continue raising funds and support for the construction of new schools and also to provide furnishings and teaching equipment to enhance the environment inside the schools.”

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In 2003, Colours of Angsana joined the Angsana portfolio. This boutique hotel collection appeals to the soft adventurer and cultural tourism sector. The current hotels are Gyalthang Dzong (Shangri-La, China), Deer Park Hotel (Giritale, Sri Lanka) and Maison Souvannaphoum (Luang Prabang, Laos). To date, the Banyan Tree Group manages and/or has ownership interests in 23 resorts and hotels, 64 spas and 66 retail galleries and two golf courses.


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HUMAN RESOURCES

The Hotel Workforce:

‘One Bad Apple’ By Roberta Nedry, President, Hospitality Excellence, Inc.

Good old Johnny Appleseed! This is his time of year, with peak apple season from September to November. How would Mr. Appleseed have felt if any of the seeds he planted turned into trees with rotten apples? How do hotel leaders feel when employees they have selected, trained and groomed change from positive to negative? Will they end up damaging the rest of the crop of employees as well as guests? It’s amazing how one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch if not removed.

Surprised, they asked her why not since such a small amount and only slightly different than the other drink. Impatiently, she turned to ask the other bartender in a rushed manner and quickly returned with an emphatic “no”. The patron, who remained calm, polite and persistent, said he could not believe this, noted he was a regular and loyal customer, often brought others and asked again why she could not add this very small amount, especially with his track record and loyalty.

How do hotels and hospitality organizations handle those employees or even managers who taint the others? What if someone has worked in one place so long, their attitude has soured and they impact the rest of the team? How should employers handle the “service duds” and either get them back on... or off the track?

The next scene was surreal. She took the glass, grabbed an ice shovel, stuffed his glass with ice until the liquid rose to the desired level, returned with a triumphant glance, plopped it down and said “there, now it’s full!” We were all stunned. The guest, now very annoyed, said to just forget it to which the bartender nonchalantly replied, “can I get you something else?” as if nothing had just happened. She was willing to waste a drink all ready poured and a loyal customer’s good faith, simply to stand her ground. She was willing to forego the revenue of an expensive cocktail and more importantly, future revenue from a loyal guest who also brought in other customers, to satisfy her own ego and poor attitude. She was a bad apple and bruised the experience for the bunch of us. She used poor judgment and didn’t really seem to care. If that was a bad day for her, she should not have worked that day. If that was typical of her behavior, she should not have been in that role or an employee of that hotel. The bar and hotel’s reputation suffered based on that one experience with that one employee, and lots of guests were there to watch.

Recently, while visiting a favorite boutique hotel in the Northeast, we stopped by the bar for Happy Hour. A favorite spot for locals, the bar filled quickly with the regulars, loyal customers who keep coming back and are willing to pay higher drink prices because they enjoy the experience. As the bartender served drinks to two patrons, they noticed one drink was not as full as the other, even though served in the same size glasses. Even though the drinks were different, they were in the same category and price and the guests casually asked the bartender to fill it to equal the other drink. She said no, she could not do that. The amount they were asking for was less than a quarter inch of liquid.

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Not one to give up easily and encouraged by others in attendance, this determined colleague waited until the concert ended and approached a different attendant on the stage. He gave the attendant his pitch and instantly received a smile. She said “no promises but that she would try.” From there, it only got better. Seated right near the original attendant who so rudely short circuited the initial request, my colleague watched as the album came back signed. He was elated and the original attendant just glared. Amazing how one simple interaction, handled so differently in such a short space of time, could so powerfully impact this guest’s emotions and experience? Perhaps the first unpleasant and guest “un-friendly” attendant was an exception since the rest of the staff was so nice but she was a “bad apple” in a barrel of good ones. In this case, the bad apple should be removed or relocated and replaced with those that recognize the value and interest of paying customers and guests.

• •

Both of these examples illustrate employee moments of truth where the entire service experience was defined by one bad apple. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and both of these employees were weak from the get go. Both had bad attitudes and in turn bad behaviors which negatively impacted each guest experience. How many rotten apples do you have? How do hoteliers recognize and address the employees that are below the line of expectations in exceptional or even satisfactory service delivery? Should they be tossed from the bunch or are there some steps in performance management that could inspire new growth? • Take a look at Fall’s favorite fruit for some food for thought: • •

APPLES: When picking apples, select firm and bright colored fruit with smooth and shiny skin. EMPLOYEES: When selecting employees, select committed individuals with bright and positive attitudes. Pay attention to attitude in the hiring process. Do attitude checks and tell employees what attitudes are expected. Reinforce attitude with written and verbal reminders, signs and other internal communication tools. Identify weak employees before they turn away guests or rub off on other employees. Rank employees on service attitude and recognize those who are role models for others. If veteran employees start losing their interest and enthusiasm, talk to them about a change in attitude or suggest a change in employment.

APPLES: The color of the apple depends on the variety. Make sure the flavor is what you want as the sweetness or tartness depends on the variety. EMPLOYEES: The disposition of an employee depends on the variety of circumstances that can impact them in a sweet or sour way. Equip them with the tools to handle the difficult situations and personal frustrations that inevitably can interrupt job performance. Train! Train! And, train again. Training must be constant, consistent and persistent to ensure constant, consistent and persistent service excellence.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Another colleague told me the story of attending a favorite band’s concert at a small but popular hospitality venue. Thrilled with the music, my colleague wanted to see if he could get an autograph. Near the end of the concert, he approached the stage to ask an attendant if that was possible at concert’s end. With no greeting or acknowledgment, she didn’t blink, said no autographs were given at the previous night’s concert, and abruptly told him to leave and go back to his seat. My colleague kept smiling and asked if she could just check and or ask a manager but she remained committed to a mean, negative and devastating, “no.”

APPLES: For storage, keep apples at room temperature for a few days. Place unwashed fruit in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a longer period of time. If you prefer crisp apples, then apples will maintain their crispness better in the refrigerator. EMPLOYEES: For longevity, hold employees accountable for their actions and don’t wait for tempers to flare and temperatures to rise. Give constructive feedback to those that may be starting to develop rotten attitudes. Keep performance goals crisp and focused and don’t allow service expectations to get cold. APPLES: Depending on personal preference, apples can be eaten with the skins on or off. The core is never eaten. EMPLOYEES: Depending on personal performance, employees can get better or worse and can be on or off in their delivery of guest service. They should understand the core of their commitment to service and need good leaders and strong role models. Make sure those in supervisory or management roles frequently do attitude checks and lead with good attitudes toward employees as well. Employees that are weak at the core will rub off on guests and the dollars they might be willing to spend or referrals they may want to make. Employees that are strong at the core and “on” in exceptional service delivery will generate the repeat and referral business essential to growth in any organization. They can also be role models for others. APPLES: An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apples help lower bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. They also are known to protect the arteries and the heart. EMPLOYEES: Ensure employees are the apple of your guests’ eyes. Make sure the rotten ones are not impacting the health of service delivery and protect the heart of guest memories and experiences. Plant the seeds of success and don’t let the bad apples take a bite out of service!

Roberta Nedry is President of Hospitality Excellence, Inc., consultants in guest experience management, guest service and service excellence training for management and frontline employees and concierge development. To learn more about the programs her firm offers and their service expertise, visit www.hospitalityexcellence.com. She can also be reached at: 954-739-5299 or roberta@hospitalityexcellence.com

APPLES: Avoid bruised, soft or shriveled fruit. It should have a fresh scent. Take time to look over your selection and make sure it is what you want and expect. EMPLOYEES: Avoid bruised, disgruntled or uninterested employees. Establish Service Standards as part of company policy. Ask each employee to make a personal and written commitment to those standards. Make them part of performance expectations and review them regularly. People do what is expected when it is inspected. Expect and Inspect! HOSPITALITY MALDIVES ISSUE 16

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HUMAN RESOURCES

How I Do It:

Hotelier Mark Hamister’s Strategies For Getting Through The Day Efficiently By Mark Hamister

My pledge to personal communication with all of my co-workers and business partners forces me use my time as effectively as possible. Here’s how I manage to find time for everyone and still stay on top of the game: Mornings I am in the office by 6.30 or 7 am, before most of my co-workers arrive. The first thing I do is to spend half-an-hour preparing for the day’s meetings. I study their subjects so that I can ask important questions of people who know more about those subjects than I do. I then spend about 15 minutes thinking about something that I absolutely want to accomplish that day. It will usually have to do with the most important issue to the company at the time. I take another 30 minutes to do research on that same issue. At about 7.45 or 8:00 I meet with my assistant for 10 minutes to review our schedules.

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HUMAN RESOURCES

Meetings

Phone Calls

I never let meetings run more than 15 minutes past their schedule. This makes people get to the bottom line faster. I have faith in my people. I don’t need them to explain

The majority of people who call me get a return phone call from me personally within 24 hours. 10% will get a return phone call from someone else in the company within 24 hours. Except for stock brokers: my assistant tells them that they won’t receive a return call because we already have enough stockbrokers.

every last detail of how they got to where they did. I only need to understand two things about every issue they bring to me. Number 1: what is the issue, opportunity, or problem? Number 2: what is the proposed solution or approach? I need to listen to the bottom line intently and try not to get frustrated if I don’t understand certain aspects of a specialized issue. Lunch

Lunch breaks are also very important to me. At least 1 to 2 times per week I take a corporate office co-worker to lunch. Sometimes I do this because there is a pressing problem in that person’s area. More frequently I just want to talk about the company in general, away from any problems, in a more relaxed environment.

I try not to rely too heavily on emails and I encourage my people to do the same. Email is efficient because people can respond at their convenience. But it does not always promote understanding. If understanding has not been established by the 3rd email, then you have to pick up the phone or meet with the person. I take phone calls standing up when I am passionate about the subject. Whether I’m on the phone or in a meeting room, I need to be on my feet and moving around while talking about things like sales, marketing, customer service, promoting the company, and serving the company’s people. I get very animated, both because I need an outlet for my energy and because it’s more fun for everyone. After Dinner

one hour after dinner each night answering every email that It’s easier to get a bigger picture of II spend didn’t get to during the day. I take the time to respond to everyone what’s going on within the company who took the time to write to me. when you step outside it. The first thing I do is to spend halfWhenever I visit a business unit I take a different group of staff out an-hour preparing for the day’s to lunch, without management. This helps me develop relationships with staff and keep lines of communication open. I pay for lunch, meetings. I study their subjects so even if it is on-property. that I can ask important questions Taking staff out to lunch is the fastest of people who know more about way to uncover problems and attain those subjects than I do. I spend one the most unvarnished view of what hour after dinner each night anis really happening with customers. swering every email that I didn’t get We also get our best ideas from front line staff, regardless of their to during the day. I take the time to educational level. They have more contact with customers than anyone else, so their input is highly valuable. respond to everyone who took the I also discover any cases of ‘Buffalo-itis.’ We coined this term in time to write to me. 1984 when one of our New England administrators was telling staff that Buffalo (i.e. corporate headquarters) was to blame for each and every problem that arose in the facility. Buffalo-itis is rare, but it de-motivates staff and creates bad feelings toward the company. It will go unnoticed if I don’t meet privately with line staff in all business units.

I take care not to forget the night-shift people. I show up early in the morning, at the end of their shifts, and take them out to breakfast.

Mark Hamister is the CEO of The Hamister Group, Inc. and The Hamister Hospitality Group, LLC, a rapidly growing hotel management company. The Hamister Group is actively seeking hotel acquisitions and management contracts in the United States. For more details, please see our web sites: www.hamisterhospitality.com and www. hamistergroup.com. Please feel free to send comments or questions to Mark at: chairman@hamistergroup.com.

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HOSPITALITY BITES

Hospitality Bites By ehotelier.com

WORLDHOTELS has further increased its portfolio of carefully selected independent hotels by 57 so far in 2007. 16 of these are brand new hotel openings looking to benefit from the hotel group’s expertise in sales, marketing, distribution, training, and e-commerce. With its global reach, WORLDHOTELS guarantees these new hotels the attention needed to be immediately recognised worldwide. With over 500 hotels in more than 300 destinations and 70 countries around the globe, WORLDHOTELS’ expertise makes it the ideal partner for newly opened independent hotels looking to position themselves on the global market. The group’s worldwide sales network is a key success factor in reaching this goal: it covers 30 strategic locations around the globe - more than any other affiliate hotel group - and maintains close relationships with over 400 multinational key corporate accounts. In addition, the hotels benefit from WORLDHOTELS’ centralised contracting with travel consortia with which the company enjoys preferred status. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. will add its eleventh hotel in Asia and its 68th hotel around the world on November 22 when The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place opens in the Indonesian capital’s financial district atop the Pacific Place Mall, a mixed use development of luxury shops, offices, and residential developments. Design Hotels™ opens the door to new careers. Design Hotels™ has launched a Career Portal available at www. designhotels.com/careers. The site features hospitality and marketing vacancies both at Design Hotels™ AG and within its community of more than 160 member hotels around the globe. The portal was conceived as a benefit for its member hotels and as an added online service for visitors to the site. Listings are free of charge and member hotels are encouraged to utilise the portal as a recruiting tool for all areas of their property from Page to Pâtissier to PR Manager. Professionals are offered a convenient “one-stop shop” for easily finding all open positions within the Design Hotels™ community. The Design Hotels™ Career Portal has been launched in partnership with YourCareerGroup AG and currently features more than 50 vacancies within Germany and Austria. Shortly, these will be complemented by additional listings from the UK and other European countries, Asia, the Americas and Africa.

The Mandarin Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong has been named “Best Hotel Spa” at the prestigious SpaAsia Crystal Awards, which honour and recognise the crème de la crème of the spa and wellness industry in Asia. The awards, presented at SpaAsia’s Wellness Summit held in Manila, are given to organizations and spas which are instrumental in spearheading trends, and exerting an overall definition for the future direction of the spa industry. The Mandarin Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, which has eight private treatment rooms including two couples’ suites, combines harmonious design elements with therapeutic rituals that are inspired by both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic philosophies. To enhance the overall experience, the Spa has Hong Kong’s first authentic Ayurvedic Sanctuary, a Hydrotherapy Room, a Kneipp pool, Chinese Herbal Steam rooms and a Vichy Shower. More than 100 new hotels in Dubai within the next decade. The number of hotels in Dubai is set to increase by more than 100 within the next decade, according to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Khalid bin Sulayem, Director of the DTCM said that by 2016 the number of hotels and hotel apartments is set to rise by 29.2 per cent to 554 from the current 439. The room capacity of hotels and hotel apartments is expected to grow from 46,775 units now to 127,100 units in that time, he added. Bin Sulayem also said revenues of the sector reached Dh 6.4 billion in the first half of the year. ‘’Dubai hotels and hotel apartments played host to 3.4 million guests during January-June period. They stayed 10.2 million nights” he added. Source: gulfnews.com HPL Hotels & Resorts announces the appointment of Andrew J. Drummond as the General Manager of Kandooma ~ Maldives, which is scheduled to open its doors in mid 2008. Andrew, an Australian national, is now based on Kandooma Island, located in South Male Atoll in the Maldives, overseeing the pre-opening preparations of the resort. Andrew was most recently the General Manager of another HPL Hotels & Resorts beach property, Casa Del Mar Langkawi in Malaysia. Oberoi Hotels and Resorts said it has been ranked Asia’s leading luxury hotel brand at the World Travel Awards.

One room hotel opens in Paris. An exclusive prefabricated one room hotel has opened atop a Paris building. Guests at the Hotel Everland get a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower, an extra-large bed and mini-bar, but are only allowed to stay for one night. The room costs a heavy US$650 per night, but breakfast is delivered to the door and guests are encouraged to steal the towels. Source: Turkmenistan News.Net

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The Oberoi, Mauritius has been recognised as Indian Ocean’s leading hotel, while Trident Hilton, Gurgaon and Kohinoor Suite of The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur have been rated as Asia’s leading meetings hotel and Asia’s leading suite respectively by travel agents in over 190 countries. Trident Hilton, Gurgaon has been ranked as India’s leading hotel, while Wildflower Hall, Shimla was termed as India’s leading spa resort, a company release said. Source: The Financial Express


Based on thousands of votes submitted by Spafinder.com visitors and Luxury SpaFinder Magazine, the Readers’ Choice Awards represent the most complete consumer assessment of the global spa market. Voters were asked to only cast ballots for spas they’ve personally visited within the past three years. Readers and web visitors also selected their favorite overall spa in each of six continents as well as their picks for the best spas in a wide range of specific categories such as “best hiking,” “best cuisine,” “best for weight loss.” “We are honored to be recognized as the top spa in India by this sophisticated spa audience,” said Ashok Khanna, managing director of IHHR Hospitality Pvt Ltd. “It speaks volumes about the distinctiveness of our location, our treatments and our entire staff who work hard to ensure our guests have an exceptional experience.” No stranger to accolades, Ananda In the Himalayas has been voted the “world’s best destination spa” by the readers of the UK-based Condé Nast Traveller magazine for three consecutive years. Ananda has also been honored as the best pampering spa by Harpers magazine, and among the best spas in the world by Tatler and Sunday Times of London. This luxury destination spa resort located in the picturesque foothills of the Himalayas is a retreat dedicated to restoring balance and harmonizing energy through a holistic approach, incorporating the healing principles of the East and the West with a specific focus on Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, along with contemporary spa technology. At the heart of the wellness focus is the integration of Yoga and Ayurveda philosophies with purifying whole body therapies, while incorporating the five elements of Nature, thus creating harmony between the mind, body and spirit.

HOSPITALITY BITES

Ananda in the Himalayas has earned the distinction of “Top Spa in India” from Spa Finder, Inc., the global spa resource.

plans for an expansion on the reclaimed land called the Cotai Strip - which recreated the Las Vegas Strip. It was waiting for government approval. ‘Once we get the approval, we will decide how to go forward,’ Ms Ho, MGM Grand managing director, told reporters at a pre-opening press conference. But she said the company has yet to set concrete plans for the second phase but had already secured funding for it. Ms Ho also said MGM Grand will focus on the VIP market and is confident in the future of the casino industry in the territory whose gaming revenues of 7.2 billion US dollars overtook the famous Las Vegas Strip last year. Source: The Straits Times /AFP Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, was named the “Best Business Hotel Brand in China” for the third consecutive year in the Business Traveler China magazine readers’ poll. In addition Shangri-La Hotel, Changchun; Shangri-La Hotel, Dalian; Shangri-La Hotel, Hangzhou; Pudong ShangriLa, Shanghai and Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong also garnered honours, each winning “Best Business Hotel” in their respective cities. The poll was conducted between July and October this year among the magazine’s readership of frequent travelers based mainly in China. Business Traveler China is the Chinese edition of Business Traveler magazine which has 10 editions around the world.

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has announced a host of new services and experiences for honeymooners, spa aficionados and gourmet travellers alike to be introduced when Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa becomes the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island on December 18th. The stunning twin island resort, twice voted ‘Best in the World’* as Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa, will provide a new level of luxury which ensures every guest experiences their very own version of a tropical paradise. On Rangali Island, the 50 luxurious Water Villas will provide a bliss zone for honeymooners and couples with the introduction of a new Personal Island Host service, offering guests a one stop contact to attend their every need. MGM Grand, the latest Las Vegas-style casino to be opened in the world’s gambling centre of Macau this week, said on Thursday it has already secured funding for its secondphase expansion. The US$1.25 billion-dollar (S$1.8 billion) resort casino is a 50/50 joint venture between MGM Mirage of Las Vegas and Pansy Ho, daughter of the southern Chinese territory’s casino mogul Stanley Ho. Pansy Ho said MGM Grand has submitted preliminary

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NEWS

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. Announces Award Winners During its Annual Convention The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. recently announced the winners of a series of prestigious awards during its 2007 International Convention, held in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Mexico, Caribbean & South America • Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil • Paraiso de le Bonita Resort & Thalasso, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Commitment to Excellence Awards

United States of America & Canada • The Island Hotel Newport Beach, Newport Beach, California • Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg, Virginia

The company presented the Second Annual Commitment to Excellence Awards, acknowledging hotels whose concept of service extends beyond their immediate walls, and whose exceptional efforts exert a positive impact on our world in the areas of the environment, community outreach and cultural support.

Highest score overall • Hotel Eden Roc, Ascona, Switzerland denotes a Leading Small Hotel

The respective winners for 2007 were:

Leaders Club Awards

Tortuga Bay, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - for the expansive efforts by the resort in the areas of water conservation, land preservation, marine life protection, and its work for the Network of Businesses for the protection of the environment in the Dominican Republic.

The winners of the Tenth Annual Leaders Club Awards were revealed. The principal criteria in determining the winners were responses to post-stay questionnaires and letters received by the Leaders Club Services Department from Club members themselves. Taking the Gold Award this year was Halekulani, Honolulu, Hawaii; the Silver Award was presented to The Ritz London, London, England; and the Bronze Award went to The Alex Hotel, New York, New York.

The Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - in recognition of its support of numerous local institutions, including Cradle of Liberty Council - Boy Scouts of America; Philadelphia Art Alliance; Academy of Vocal Arts; Walnut Hill College Restaurant School; Temple University School of Tourism And Hospitality; Widener University Hotel School; Elizabethtown College; the Hero Scholarship Fund, and numerous other organizations. Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy, Florence, Italy - for its involvement with the Partners di Palazzo Strozzi association to raise funds to support and promote the artistic and cultural heritage of the city of Florence. Commitment to Quality Awards The winners of the Sixth Annual Commitment to Quality Awards were also announced, recognizing Leading Hotels and Leading Small Hotels in five regions: Africa/Middle East, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Mexico/Caribbean/South America, and the United States of America/Canada. The winners were those properties which achieved the highest scores during their most recent Leading Hotels’ anonymous inspections. A special award was also given to the hotel that achieved the highest inspection score overall.

Juan Gaspart Award And finally, the winner of fifth Annual Juan Gaspart Award, recognizing an outstanding employee of a Leading Hotel pursuing a career in the hospitality industry, was announced. The winner of the award was Mr. Pravin Bancharam, Training Manager, Learning & Development, at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa on Mauritius. Mr. Bancharam was the author of a 500-word essay on the topic of “What are some of the ways in which hotels and their employees can demonstrate social responsibility?” selected from dozens submitted from around the world. Paul M. McManus, president and chief executive officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., said, “Throughout our company’s history, our hotels have set the standards for excellence in hospitality and service. It is our pleasure to recognize their numerous achievements in not only in providing their guests with the ultimate luxury experience, but also for their efforts to promote responsible tourism, and to nurturing the future of our industry.”

The 2007 winners of the Commitment to Quality Awards are: Africa & Middle East • La Residence des Cascades, Soma Bay, Red Sea, Egypt • Cape Grace, Cape Town, South Africa Asia & Pacific • The Shilla Seoul, Seoul, South Korea • One&Only Kanuhura, Maldives, Republic of Maldives Europe • Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo, Monaco • Hotel Eden Roc, Ascona, Switzerland •

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About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd: The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is the prestigious luxury hospitality organization representing nearly 450 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas, and is the operator of www.lhw.com - the online source for your luxury lifestyle. As the largest international luxury hotel brand, the firm maintains offices in 24 major markets across the globe. Since 1928, the company’s reputation for excellence derives from the exacting levels of quality it demands of its members, each of which must pass a rigorous, anonymous inspection covering 1,500 separate criteria. For more information please visit www.lhw.com


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HUMAN RESOURCES

10 Ways Not To Hire The Best Person For The Job By Becky Regan

The combination of behavioral interviewing, advance preparation for the interview, objectivity of the hiring process, and effective documentation co-mingle to produce a professional selection and hiring process for your company.

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Ask the applicant questions based on what the person would do in a hypothetical scenario without exploring past behavior in similar situations.

Don’t base the interview questions on an updated job description.

Accept every answer to your question at face value without asking probing questions.

Ask questions about the applicant’s criminal history.

Don’t get a signed release from the applicant to check references and perform background checks.

Ask the applicant if they have adequate daycare arrangements for their children.

Ask the applicant if they have any disabilities that you should know about before hiring them.

Ask if they have ever filed a worker’s compensation claim against an employer.

Ask them if they have ever been involved in a sexual harassment complaint on the job.

Don’t explore values, ethics and beliefs that the applicant holds to determine alignment of organizational “fit.”


HUMAN RESOURCES

In every company, one of the critical responsibilities for every manager and supervisor is to hire the highest caliber of person to fill open jobs. Yet few managers have ever received training that teaches them how to hire the person for the job. Most managers learn on-the-job, without knowing how to approach and prepare for the interview, which questions they can legally ask, or how to get answers on issues that they need to know. Behavioral interviewing is an approach based upon the premise that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. It’s a pretty simple premise that works because people tend to repeat behavioral patterns. It also allows the interviewer to explore past situations that the applicant has experienced from multiple approaches to determine how they would handle similar situations if they were to work for your company. To take it to the next level, it’s critical to layer questions and not just accept answers at face value. For example, in questioning an applicant for a customer service representative position the following layered questions might be used in this sequence: •

“Tell me about a time when you weren’t able to meet a customer’s request. Explain the customer’s predicament, what you did, what you couldn’t do, and the outcome.”

“Why weren’t you able to meet the customer’s request?”

“How did that make you feel?”

“What did you do next as a result of that whole experience?”

“If you didn’t have the restraints in place that prevented you from handling this situation, how would you have handled it differently?”

Documentation of the interview process is also important, especially if the company is challenged in the future about the qualifications of the person who filled the position versus any other applicant. It’s critical to take notes during the interview about the applicant’s responses to asked questions, and other tools such as a summary matrix of all applicants can be utilized, if desired. The goal is to develop documents that will support the objectivity of your company’s interview process, and establish a paper trail for future reference should it become necessary. Preparation is key in the interview process, and demonstrates to applicants that you and your company take the responsibility of hiring the best very seriously. To every applicant, your supervisors and managers are the company, and the professionalism they exhibit throughout the interviewing and hiring process is a direct reflection on the caliber of your company. Their impression of your staff’s professionalism during the hiring process will certainly influence their decision to join your company. The combination of behavioral interviewing, advance preparation for the interview, objectivity of the hiring process, and effective documentation co-mingle to produce a professional selection and hiring process for your company. Efforts in this arena will result in the placement of high quality personnel in your company, while minimizing any legal exposure in negligent hiring practices. © 2007 - Regan HR, Inc.

These questions should reveal a lot of information about the applicant. You’ll know how the applicant handles difficult situations on the job, their level of self-motivation to fix the problem, whether they accept company policies and procedures at face level or “push the envelope,” their frustration level of not being able to resolve the problem, and whether they pursued any changes that might enable them to better handle the problem in the future. Questions are based on an updated job description that outlines the daily responsibilities and scope of the open job. Questions are based on bona fide occupational qualifications, or factual requirements of the job versus subjective questions initiated without much forethought. Through the advance preparation of using an updated job description to design interview questions to consistently use with every applicant for the job, any legal exposure to discriminatory hiring practices is minimized.

Becky Regan, M.A., CCP began her own consulting practice in 1995, Regan HR, Inc. to provide human resources consulting services to businesses in California. She has been successful in growing her business through reputation and client referrals. Her work as a consultant includes the full spectrum of HR technical expertise, including C-level recruitment, compensation studies (design, market and executive pay studies, sales compensation plans), training & teaching, interim assignments as a HR Director for organizations, and employee relations, including workplace investigations and written responses to formal complaints. For more HR tips and to receive my FREE “The Top 5 Secrets to Building a Better Organization that Every HR Pro Must Know” report go to http://www.ReganHR.com

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SALES & MARKETING

Building Your

BRAND

Starts with your Guests. By J. Ragsdale Hendrie

use the Comment Card, which provides typically a skewed report and is not timely. Or, we have moved into the electronic realm with robotic follow-up e-mails, requesting our Report Card score. Maybe, we even have this on the TV screen in our Guest Rooms for immediate feedback. What is missing is the human to

It is extremely difficult nowadays to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace - Our Consumer is savvy and even when we artfully capture and promote our Brand message, others quickly ape our approach. Therefore, we need to be smarter and more innovative to maximize our market presence. Engaging our Guest and Customer is a means to distinguish ourselves. Hotel Executives probably wonder how this can be accomplished. They have no time, inundated with the flurry and criticality of daily events and challenges. But, you have no idea how well you are performing, unless you bring your Guest into that equation. Of course, they are usually beaten up by the time they arrive at your door, numbed by travel, wrapped pretty tightly from everyone wanting something from them – a passport, their patience in line, the cab fare – the smells, sights and efforts to get to that hallowed haven – your hotel. Likewise, the Restaurateur is beset with constraints. Scheduling, purchasing, dining room readiness, reservations and crowd control can sweep you off your feet. Yet, you also represent a haven, a respite for that weary Consumer, who needs to be graciously welcomed and refreshed. So, we have two parties, each dependent upon the other to meet various expectations, yet hardly jumping into each others’ arms, rather like Musical Chairs. Now, we know where the term disgruntled came from. But, we want our Guests “gruntled”, and we want to learn how to improve our operations. Right? To date our efforts have been simplistic and perfunctory, seldom face to face, where we can craft that relationship and rapport. We

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uch, not only in our mechanism for a Performance Response but also in our lives. We and our Guest can go through a day where the only human contact is when we pick up our hamburger order at the fast food window. We can bank, get our laundry, shop on-line and have Phone Sex and not see another human being. To have a person actually talk with us, care for us, treat us well, attend to our needs personally - what a marketing edge that would be. And, quite memorable, too! Several years ago, I proposed a means to WOW your Guests, where the General Manager and the Executive Committee, individually, actually “Room” Guests on selected evenings. The crux of the idea was to meet the Guest at the Front Desk, escort them to their room, extol the many amenities, activities and outlets in the Hotel and community, demonstrate the intricacies of the Room, thank them for their business and write a note (by hand – how unusual) to them after their stay.

you have no idea how well you are performing, unless you bring your Guest into that equation. The objective was obviously relationship building (as well as Data Mining), and in today’s climate and Hospitality landscape this ges-


SALES & MARKETING

ture would be indelible. Plus, this does not take a great deal of time, especially when shared with your other Executives. Do the math. Your Executive team, of let’s say five people, each “touches” five Guests in a week; that is 100 in a month, 1,200 Guests in a year. Memorable, you bet! The concept can be expanded, at little expense and time consumed. This exercise can even include your employees, vendors and other parties (they all make the Experience work). You do not need a fancy-panted Marketing Professional to set this up; essentially, you can host in-house Focus Groups, quite informally, through small cocktail gatherings, breakfasts and coffees. The atmosphere is casual and unstructured, however, you do have a script of sorts. The purpose is to elicit “feedback”, personally, and constructive ideas. These small events are RSVP, so you control the size and the mix. You want to hear about their stay, what went well, what needs improvement, who were the extraordinary employees, were expectations exceeded? Just like the “Rooming” concept, this simply is not being done. Most of your Guests will appreciate the effort and your interest. You have created a new “bond”. Their Experience will have been enhanced. We sometimes do this with Employees, but the framework is seen as artificial, perhaps cursory. Many are curious yet cynical – “What do they want now?” Employees are a tough audience, unless you are sincere, follow-up and through and demonstrate what is in it for them. There are other audiences, as well. I surmise you have never met with Vendors in this type of forum. What a rich resource they are. Your Vendors want you to succeed, for they get more business. Your Destination Area Organizations want you to succeed, for you help to make the Destination more attractive to Visitors. Your Associations, marketing and professional, need your dues and contributions; they are on-board. And, even your competition recognizes that your health and prosperity helps to drive theirs. Common goals, collaborative action, relationship building – wonderful synergy! These types of concepts work. It is creating a face with the business; a warm, firm handshake with the Promise; a smile, laugh and concern to cap a Memorable Experience. Most importantly, you have engaged your Customers. Be on top of your game, just like Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York, who always questioned, “How am I doing?” Time is a problem, you say? You have all the time there is!

It is creating a face with the business; a warm, firm handshake with the Promise; a smile, laugh and concern to cap a Memorable Experience. The author believes that Remarkable Hospitality is the portal to the Memorable Experience. Seek solutions at: www.hospitalityperformance.com

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LOCAL NEWS

Inner Maldives Holidays wins “Indian Oceans Leading Travel Agency” award at the World Travel Awards 2007

Inner Maldives Holidays has been awarded the “Indian Ocean’s Leading Travel Agency” at the regional World Travel Awards (WTA) Ceremony at The Leela Palace Kempinski in Bangalore, India, where the winners of the Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Awards were announced. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Mohamed Firaq accepted the award on behalf of the company at the ceremony. Inner Maldives Holidays Pvt Ltd., a company that was founded in the year 1998 with the dedicated objective of providing travel and tourism services to the booming tourism industry in the Maldives. In the years Inner Maldives Holidays has grown to become one of the market leaders in the industry with annual turnover of over USD$ 6 million in 2006, and presently represent over 500 global travel brands in the Maldives. It is for the first time a Maldivian travel agency or tour operator has attained such status at the World Travel Awards. This distinguished

endorsement of the Maldivian tourism industry by the World Travel Awards is a nation triumph and achievement. The management of Inner Maldives Holidays takes this opportunity to thank all its stakeholders and partners for their unreserved support and assistance over the years.

Media contact for information: Mr. Abdulla Ghiyas Inner Maldives Holidays H. Faalandhoshuge aage Male’, Maldives Telephone: +960 332 6309 Facsimile: +960 333 0884 Email: info@innermaldives.com Website: www.innermaldives.com

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HUMAN RESOURCES

The Fundamentals of Performance Evaluations:

By Kristy Jack, CHA, and Chris Longstreet, CHA, Society for Hospitality Managemen

How Performance Evaluations are used in the Workplace When we meet someone for the first time, we gain a first impression based on several factors:appearance, voice, and personality traits to name a few. Our first impressions are evaluations of the person we meet, and right or wrong, these impressions can last for a long time. As managers, we base our evaluations on various factors as well — appearance, attendance, interactions with guests, relationships with other employees, speed, and quality of work pe formed, just to name a few. Daily, as managers, we make evaluations of people. We make evaluations on candidates applying for an open position. At the beginning of a shift, you might walk around to see if things are in order – in essence, you are evaluating the status of your establishment. You find out what people are doing and can determine your priorities from your evaluation. If you have visitors during the day, you unconsciously size them up and adjust your speech and ac-

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Evaluations can improve communication between managers and their employees. Through an evaluation, managers have a chance to discuss the working relationship. Evaluations are especially valuable in providing a formalized means of improving upward communic tion, through which the manager can learn how employees view their work situation and what their concerns are.

The point is that evaluating employees, or giving performance appraisals, is an integral part of the manager’s job. The evaluations we make in the context of an employment relationship are important in terms of outcome: who gets a job, who is given an opportunity for additional training, who gets a raise or a promotion, who is transferred, and even who is terminated. For these reasons, it is important that managers understand how evaluations are used, and how to correctly conduct the process effectively.

Evaluations help supervisors rate themselves. Many managers and supervisors find that through giving performance evaluations, they learn a lot about their own performance. Even through giving evaluations can be a time consuming and trying task, managers can identify items where they haven’t performed effectively: not spending enough time coaching, not discussing performance problems completely, and failing to give employees feedback throughout the year. Employees’ reactions to the evaluation process may outline that supervisory skills could be improved. If the employee’s reaction to tan evaluation is tense and defensive, it may be an indication that individual resents the sudden interest in their performance.

How Performance Evaluations Are Used

HUMAN RESOURCES

tions accordingly. In your contacts with your own boss, you organize your material and present your information in a way that will gain his or her approval. If an employee is up for salary review, you decide whether or not he or she merits more money. If there is a vacancy in the department, you weigh the relative qualifications of the available candidates before making your decision.

The purposes for which performance evaluations are conducted are almost as many as the ways to conduct them. Evaluations serve as an inventory of the organization’s talent. Few managers in the hospitality industry would argue that employees are the most valuable assets we have. Their abilities to serve the guest and provide a great experience are essential to success. Pe formance evaluations provide the opportunity to outline what the talent pool currently is within your team and allows for the identification of shortfalls. Evaluations allow for the cultivation of stronger relationships. Through evaluations, we can create better relationships with employees. Evaluations all us to create an understanding about each other’s goals – both the goals of the individual and the organization. By evaluating employee performance on a regular basis, managers have a good idea of where their employees stand in terms of job satisfaction, career goals, training needs, and other vital personnel issues at all times. Evaluations motivate employees to improve their performance. Employees want to know what is expected of them and how well they are performing their work. Evaluations clearly serve this purpose. Managers can outline areas of improvement for all employees. Coaching is a necessary element in enabling employees to improve their performance. Coaching allows managers to praise an employee for a job well done, or else the reasons for past performance problems are discussed and solutions outlined. Coaching allows managers to focus on the future and the changes need for future improvement and overall success. Evaluations support merit / performance based pay. In organizations where the pay is linked to performance, evaluations are needed to verify whether performance objectives were achiever and administered fairly to all employees. There is the obvious motivational value of pay-for-performance based programs – the better employees performed, the more they are awarded. To support the process, evaluations are needed and can are used to measure whether objectives have been attained.

The point is that evaluating employees, or giving performance appraisals, is an integral part of the manager’s job. The evaluations we make in the context of an employment relationship are important in terms of outcome Evaluations are an invaluable means of assessing the status of the organization’s staffing needs. Evaluations help managers make decisions regarding transfers, promotions, and terminations, among other things. Evaluations provide valuable and necessary information on which judgments about employee potential are based. Excellent employees are identified through the process and can be developed to be future supervisors and managers. Evaluations supply vital documentation in matters of legal dispute. Legislative actions and court decisions have made it clear that decisions affecting women and members of minority groups, particularly in compensation and human resource planning, must be based on something more solid than intuition, hunches, and “gut feelings” about the individuals involved. These decisions must be supported by documented evidence — evidence provided by a carefully planned and administered performance evaluation program.

Adapted from Managing Human Resources in the Hospitality Industry by David Wheelhouse, CHRE, (Educational Institute of the AH&LA, Lansing, MI 1989) For more information on the SOCIETY FOR HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT, visit our website at www.hospitalitysociety.org or call us at 616 457-3646.

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SALES & MARKETING

Program Preparation It’s logical to assume that the starting point for successful sales training is the preparation of the contents of the program. But strangely enough, this is the one area most often neglected. It is not unusual to find a two-hour training program for which the ‘preparation’ was a 20 minute review immediately before the program started. The result of such planning - or lack of it - is, of course, a disorganized, uninteresting session which falls far short of accomplishing the desired objectives. Thus, it can be safely stated that adequate program planning is vital to a successful training session.

SALES

An additional mistake some companies make is hiring an outside trainer that provides a ‘Canned Program’ with very little knowledge of the industry or the sales force. Some even violate that ‘Cardinal Rule’ --- Never hire or appoint a sales trainer that has never carried a bag. Consider this; how can a trainer have any credibility about sales if they just spout off theory and have never walked in the shoes of a sales person? In general, the meeting leader who has properly prepared the meeting, has sales experience, knows the industry and is prepared to work with visual and other aids, is likely to provide a successful program. The Flip Chart Phenomenon One of the main points that is often listed under the objectives of a training program is that of stimulating the thinking and developing

Conducting Effective Sales Training Sessions By Dr. Rick Johnson Sales training programs should be designed to achieve maximum participation on the part of the audience. It has been proven time and again that audience participation in sales training is one of the most effective methods of developing both an attitude for learning and an attitude for successful salesmanship. Next, enthusiasm must be created. Enthusiasm is one of the most important traits a sales meeting leader must possess - because it is contagious. Participants in the training program will learn very little if they are bored, inattentive or mentally falling asleep.

the reasoning power of the participants. This thinking and reasoning is encouraged by the use of properly framed discussion questions that tend to draw out information from the group. Certain types of these questions, however, are often the type, which require the use of a flip chart. When this is the case, the thinking of the group is found to be definitely stimulated and it’s reasoning powers increased by the act of charting the thoughts of the group. The Flip Chart Phenomenon takes over if the trainer is skilled at utilizing it effectively.

Additionally, the participants must believe in the program; he or she must believe in the content of the program and that the program will provide personal value. Sales people must have an answer to the question ‘What’s in it for me?’ (WIIFM). Sales people earn their income by being in front of their customers - not by sitting in meetings. Consequently, the training session has to have compelling value to the sales person to be successful.

The flip chart has a tendency to draw in all members of the group. This makes for a more complete and thorough analysis of the problem. The Flip Chart Phenomenon is based on four basic principles. Launching this phenomenon starts by selecting the essential points in a discussion and posting them on the flip chart. The points selected through discussion are critical toward motivating the group to release their creative and innovative thoughts; This requires the leader to follow the four basic principles of the Flip Chart Phenomenon.

Assuming that your salespeople enter the program in the right frame of mind - that is, with the proper attitude - and assuming further that this attitude is strengthened by the content of the program itself, it’s time to review the factors that contribute to the learning process.

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• Listen carefully to all that is being said. • Exercise good judgment in deciding which points are listed on the chart.


• Be tactful in selecting pertinent and suitable material.

By following these four principles, the leader will ensure that the charting notes are meaningful and the power of the ‘Flip Chart Phenomenon’ will be released. Program Tempo Controlling the rate at which a training session moves is an important element in program leadership. When the rate is slow, a great deal of time is devoted to the discussion of every minute phase of the topic so that participants get bored. Their perception of value is quickly diluted. When the rate is too fast, the group makes comments too tersely so that the subject matter is gone over too quickly and many may just not get it. Groups differ in the speeds with which they will absorb and understand information. A skilled session leader understands this and controls the program tempo to fit the majority by being extremely

SALES & MARKETING

• Condense thoughts to as few words as possible.

observant and asking key questions of the participants. At the same time, attention is paid to those that can’t quite keep up. The leader’s skill is the controlling factor that serves to modify the rate of speed.. It is safe to say that all sales people need some training. Even the accomplished sales person who has been selling for many years needs training on new products and a continuous review of their selling skills.

www.ceostrategist.com - Sign up to receive ‘The Howl’ a free monthly newsletter that addresses real world industry issues. - Straight talk about today’s issues. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s ‘Leadership Strategist’, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail rick@ceostrategist.com. Don’t forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your business.

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by Leslie Lyon

SPA

Financial Management Secrets Of The Spa Industry Reflecting for a moment on the world of business- in any businessthere are always tricks of the trade that can provide quick paths to solving daily business challenges and even turning pitfalls into win falls, and the spa business is no exception. Just as you have your own trade secrets and methodologies for building your businesses, so do the spa industry experts whose job it is to educate and guide you with the newest trends, as well as proven practices.

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SPA

Begin taking accountability for your financial successes and failures and you will see that the freedom and power that comes from this knowledge can literally be life-changing.

popular one. If as a minimum we were to strive for a basic understanding of each statement; study what they are telling us and take action on the information they have revealed, we will at least have a chance at financial success. All too often however, we are consumed in other areas of the business and don’t take enough notice of the numbers. Perhaps we may even mistakenly believe that high revenue means our business is profitable and therefore there is no need for us to monitor it.

No matter whom it is you consult with however, industry leaders will tell you it’s all about the numbers and how to take them from paper, to profits. So the focus of this article will be those tricks of the trade, and how to take the information they are providing us and turn it into something tangible that will help sustain our businesses well into the future.

Cash Projections Worksheet

To begin with, we must familiarize ourselves with Spa Financing 101. There are three basic Financial Statements that tell us the shape our business is in, by providing us with an historical analysis of actual financial outcomes; and one Financial Statement that is used to plan for future business needs and goals. These statements provide us with information that is not obtainable through any other means.

Considering your “beginning cash”, or the anticipated amount left over from the previous period (week or month) and added to your current sales, provides you with your total sales (cash inflows) for the period. Subtracting your cash outflows (expenses) from total sales, gives you either a cash surplus or a cash deficiency, and indicates to you if cash is required to meet your needs and goals for that period.

They help to identify such things as: areas of over-spending as well as those areas that are under-performing. They can provide comparisons in sales to cost of sales on an ongoing basis, pointing out where changes may need to occur, for example within our staff compensation plan. As well, knowing how we measure up to spa industry benchmarks as they relate to revenue and profitability is invaluable. Understanding percentages in relation to revenue on our controllable line items within our Operating Costs can tell us if our marketing budget is too low, or if our lease payments are too high, among so many other things. Understanding our business’ liquidity will help us to understand what kind of financial flexibility we have in order to effectively act upon future business needs and opportunities. Neil Ducoff, Founder and CEO of Strategies, Centerbrook, CT, developed a 2-day course for Aveda’s Business College called “Financial Fitness”, which works to simplify the understanding of what Neil refers to as “The 4 Pillars of Financial Success”. Using a more light-hearted approach as an effective learning tool, the course makes interesting comparisons between financial statements and the instrument panel of your car, which you will see demonstrated below. Having an intimate working knowledge of each of these statements is a sound business approach, but not necessarily a common, or

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The good news is that it is never to late to get a-hold of your financial situation. There are a multitude of tools available that can set you on the right path. Look for books and discs on financial planning for the non-financial professional; courses on finances; and even financial mentors. Begin taking accountability for your financial successes and failures and you will see that the freedom and power that comes from this knowledge can literally be life-changing.

This is a projection statement and is used as a planning tool to help predict the outcome or viability of future business needs and financial goals; it is your “action plan” for both your short and long-term ambitions, and every business should have one.

Having this worksheet in place is the only way we can tell if we should be controlling our spending, or if there is room for spending. It is very useful to compare your projected figures to actual outcomes, as this will provide you with an even greater level of accuracy in predicting future business possibilities. Ducoff: Cash Flow Projections are the “businesses budget”. This is looking through the car window shield, or even better, at your satellite navigational system – “I want to get from here, to there”. Cash Flow Statement This spreadsheet will show you how much money is needed to operate your business, and when it is needed. As with the Cash Projections Worksheet, it is only concerned with the amount of actual cash coming into the business (revenue or cash inflows) and the actual amount leaving the business (expenses or cash outflows), in a given time frame. Subtracting your expenses from revenue gives you your Gross Profit Margin (or Cash Excess). Once you have deducted your Operating Costs from the GPM, you will arrive at an Ending Cash Balance (either positive or negative) for the period, which will reveal to you if and when you need to tighten up operations.


SPA

Ducoff - Statement of Cash Flows represents “fuel for the business” and must be constantly monitored on your gas gauge. Did the period you are looking at add or deplete cash for the period, and how much cash do you have right now?

The Profit & Loss statement is your “measurement of business performance” Income Statement or Profit & Loss This statement tracks revenue and expenses in order to analyse your profitability. The components that make up the P&L are: Revenue (Sales); COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) and Gross Profit (Revenue minus COGS = GP); and below the Gross Profit line are your Operating Expenses; and when subtracted from the GP give you a Net Income (before and/or after taxes).

Neil states, “Few people use and understand these statements, but particularly the Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows and the Cash Flow Projections. “The Cash Flow Projection”, or budget, is the one thing for 14 years we have been pleading with people to take notice of. It’s the Owners new boss. If it’s not in the budget, you don’t spend it”.

Spas2b is a full-service Spa Development, Consulting and Training company based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Spas2b draws on the extensive experience of its President, Leslie Lyon. Leslie has evolved with the Health and Beauty Industry for more than 30 years and has participated in many aspects of the Spa trade. An Aesthetician and Electrologist for 25 years, today Leslie enjoys her profession as an International Consultant, Educator, Key Note Speaker, Published Columnist and Freelance Writer. www.spas2b.com

This statement acts as your financial report card at the end of each month to tell you if sales have improved; if you have controlled expenses (if the percentage of expenses to revenue has gone up or down, and where); and therefore if your profit margin has increased or decreased. It will be helpful to note that if you are at anything less than 50% Gross Profit, you may have trouble covering your Operating Costs and making a profit. Operating Costs traditionally run at 40-45% of revenue in the spa industry, leaving us little room to move if our COGS are too high. COGS include our service staff payroll and product costs for both retail and professional. Ducoff: The Profit & Loss statement is your “measurement of business performance”, measured by the speedometer, tachometer, and odometer. Are you going 90 but still in second gear? Lot’s of sales but no profit?

Balance Sheet This reports the business’s Assets, Liabilities and Shareholder’s/Owner’s equity at a specific date. It explains what the company’s investments, obligations, and resources are to help predict the amounts, timings, and certainty or uncertainty of future cash flows. Total Assets must always equal the Total Liabilities + Total Owner’s Equity number, hence the term “Balance” sheet. Ducoff: The Balance Sheet is the “health of your business”, represented on the instrument panel by the temperature and oil pressure gauges. People are adding assets, but they may be financing those assets. People get into terrible messes by accumulating debt as opposed to cash. Ask yourself, “Do I want to add value or increase debt?”

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The issue, often missed by hospitality management, is the attention, training and focus necessary to define the desired experience at that initial contact. In fact, many bypass this impression-winning step because it is so brief relative to where guests actually spend their time and/or it seems insignificant in the big picture. What a missed opportunity! Consider that the guest experience begins the moment guests decide to visit a restaurant, make hotel reservations, rent a car or take a cruise. When they make the first phone call to pursue their heart’s desire, they are emotionally ready for their experience to begin. Are employees at this relationship-beginning stage as ready for the experience as the guest? If this is a guest’s first time to a restaurant, perhaps he or she will need directions or more information to celebrate a special occasion. What happens next, when the employee answers the phone and “meets” the potential guest (with potential dollars), can be a winning, indifferent or losing move.

Winning By Roberta Nedry

or not, is not creating the initial contact desired or reinforcing the standards of that establishment, drive them out of the experience. Define the impressions your parking valets give guests – such as a certain typeof greeting, eye contact, reassurance, efficiency with long lines and safe car behavior (one of my favorites). What kind of image do they have? Are they articulate and understandable? Do they instill trust as they take the keys to a guest’s automotive pride and joy? Is this first contact consistent with the service delivery of other employees who will receive and pass the baton at each point of contact? How frequently are the valet services observed and evaluated from theguest’s point of view?

SERVICE

You get no second chance to make a first – and I’ll add lasting – impression. What an understatement in today’s world of guest experience management. Think about where, how and when the initial contact for any hospitality experience takes place. Was it when the guest walked through the door or earlier when the valet took the car or even earlier when that same guest called to make reservations? In today’s techno-ready world, could that first contact even have been on the Internet with a simple request for information?

While many consider valet services as an essential step to “process” a guest into an experience, the valet m ment actually represents a tremendous opportunity to “wow” a guest and exceed expectations through some very simple steps. Initial contact for a destination may begin at the airport. Perhaps the porter at the baggage claim is a guest’s first exposure to the area they are about to visit. Maybe the “starter” who gets the cab actually starts that guest experience. Once again, are the employees in these roles processing the guests or are they embracing the opportunity to totally create the destination’s first impression?

First Impression is vital

What kind of tone and voice impression takes place? Does the employee “smile” with his or her voice and welcome the guest, or sound rushed and inconvenienced by the phone call? Does this first contact sound like a script being read or a genuine introduction? Are the instructions clear and in language that is articulate, slow and easy to understand, or are the words fragmented, insincere and undecipherable? Are guests told “no” when reservation times are unavailable, or are other options presented? Does that employee recognize the power of beginning the guest relationship in that moment? Perhaps the moment of truth begins with the parking valet. Unfortunately, it is a rare occasion, in my opinion, when the valet sets the stage with an outstanding experience. In many cases, a separate or “hired” company to greet guests and park their cars provides valet services. In the seamless delivery of service, that really doesn’t matter. The restaurant, hotel, condominium, attraction, event or any other valet service provider must understand that initial contact with any valet may be the most impressionwinning or anxiety-producing moment for that guest. And, it’s not the guest’s responsibility to figure that out or to manage it. If a valet service, whether hired

If management trained individuals in these roles to do three simple things – welcome the guest to the area, look them directly in the eye, smile and thank them for visiting – would a guest be surprised by the extra effort placed on those first few seconds of initial contact? Would they feel more like a guest as opposed to the next number in the sequence or the next potential tip? Whether that first contact begins with the receptionist, the cash register operator, the parking lot attendant, the Internet/e-mail respondent, the person who answers that first phone call or the driver who takes the car, there are endless opportunities to create an exceptional service experience through that first impression. Studies show that guests, customers and clients remember the first and the last things that take place, more than the things in the middle. Do you? Setting the tone from the true beginning sets the stage for experiences guests will want to repeat. Roberta Nedry is president of Hospitality Excellence Inc., consultantsin guest experience management, and an advisor to The Business Journal’s Guest Report. She can be reached at (954) 739-5299 or at roberta@hospitality-excellence.com. HOSPITALITY MALDIVES ISSUE 16

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for comments please email: info@hospitality-maldives.com

“I would like to thank you for such a magazine in Maldives. I am a full fan of your magazine. Since I am in the service industry, I found it very useful and very informative, first of its kind in the Maldives.” Aani, Male’

“I would like to add few comments on the article “Another lesson Learned” of issue # 15 by Nektaria Hamister. We are in the hospitality industry where we meet lots of customers; we should never assume we know what our customer needs. That’s where we make our mistakes. We always think that we know what our customer need. So we try our best to satisfy them by way of improving our product and HOW? We provide a welcome drink on arrival, decorate their bed in the evening or arrival, place a nice flower on the dining table with fresh & crispy napkin. Maybe guest prefer a softer napkin than a regular starched and hard napkin. So & so. Do we ever consider whether the guest actually likes the welcome drink? Maybe the guest prefers a hot drink rather than a traditional cool drink. Have we ever slept on a guest’s bed to see whether it’s really comfortable? Or use the guest toilet? Have a shower to check whether the water pressure is ok? There are so many things we do to impress the owners of the hotel but not our customers. The author of this article had given us an eye opener which we can apply and improve ourselves.” Mahesh De Silva, Laundry Manager, Island Hideaway at Dhonakulhi Maldives

“I happened to read your magazine addressed to my husband and I was pleasantly surprised. It was issue 15 and I found myself reading it from cover to cover, which I usually don’t with magazines as I have very little time. I must congratulate you on a very informative and interesting magazine. After I have put the articles to good use, I will leave it in our host (staff) library for them to read.” Eva Malmstrom Shivdasani, Creative Director, Six Senses Resorts and Spas

“Whenever I get a copy of your magazine Hospitality Maldives, I use to read it - old or new. I would say that in my 10+ years of experience in Maldives, this magazine has attracted me for some unique qualities; mainly because the contents will contribute some knowledge in every field: accounting, personnel management, or other general information. And the presentation is good for reading. This is a long pending acknowledgement.” O.C.Cherian, Chief Financial Officer, VB Brother Pvt. Ltd.

Have Your Say! Email us at info@hospitality-maldives.com!

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Hospitality Maldives Issue 16