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Delivering Inspirational Guest Service Starts With Employees

Hotel Interactive

08/9/2011

 

Since opening its doors in January, B Ocean Fort Lauderdale – the first hotel of the new B Hotels & Resorts brand – has launched a series of cultural initiatives focused on employee empowerment and guest engagement. With a new “B Keeper Ambassador Program,” the appointment of a “B Experience Manager,” a fresh approach to uniforms and a trademarked internal employee language, B Ocean is quickly making waves in the hospitality industry.
 

“B Hotels & Resorts is about letting guests define how they want their experience to be,” said Chris Tompkins, corporate vice president of B Hotels & Resorts. “The ability to communicate our brand promise starts with hotel employees. From the beginning, we understood that employee engagement was one of the most important deliverables in conveying our brand new alternative of ‘self-expression’ hospitality. We knew we needed to get it right with our first hotel.”
 
A critical role in ensuring consistent delivery of the brand at the hotel level is the B Experience Manager. Veronica Miranda recently stepped into this role at B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, providing marketing and promotions support, as well as leading the company’s B Wed program. She also is responsible for facilitating the company’s “B First to Know” monthly guest newsletter and forging strategic alliances as part of the hotel’s B Adventurous excursion program.
 
Prior to joining the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale team, Miranda served as sales and marketing executive assistant at the Trump International Beach Resort in Miami. Previously, she worked in the food and beverage department there and in concierge services at Jade Ocean Condominiums.

The property also recently launched its “B Keeper Ambassador” program. Formed to ensure smooth delivery of the B Hotels & Resorts brand experience, this initiative creates a dialogue between hotel employees, empowering them to work together in delivering the overall guest experience.
 
The B Keeper Ambassador team is comprised of eight employees representing each department within the hotel. The team meets on a bi-weekly basis and the format of the meetings is interactive.
 
B Hotels & Resorts has also adopted its own language of more than 1,000 words and phrases which B Ocean Fort Lauderdale employees – including Miranda and the B Keeper Ambassadors, among others – are encouraged to use in internal and external communication.  These include B Happy, B Driven, B Our Guest, B First to Know, B Green and B Humane, among others.
 
“By developing our own language, it allows us the opportunity to really deliver the brand culture. It’s a creative, consistent and customized language that provides a foundation for each guest who walks through the doors of B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, helping them instantaneously feel the difference between our brand and all others,” said Tompkins. “The most rewarding part is when we hear guests start to interact this way with each other, using our language. Just recently I overheard a guest say to another – B Ready to B Inspired!  It’s just really fun.”
 
Employee empowerment goes beyond creative titles and committees – it starts with how employees look and the importance of how that makes them feel. Taking a unique approach to uniforms, the B Hotels & Resorts team worked to ensure every team member at every level within the hotel feels pride in their position.

Uniforms were carefully selected for all departments based on approachability - design, look and feel – from both the employee and guest perspective. This includes the hotel’s housekeeping uniform, a sleek track suit.

“For an employee to give inspirational guest service, they themselves must feel inspired,” said Tompkins. “So many uniforms out there are just that – a uniform. I don’t know of anyone who feels good wearing something that says ‘this is what I do for a living.’  We want for employees at our hotels to feel like individuals. It’s important that they are comfortable when leaving work so if they need to go shopping or run errands, they can do so with a genuine sense of pride and comfort.”

 

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