Editorial Board   

Ms. Knutson

Bonnie Knutson

Professor, The School of Hospitality Business/MSU

Bonnie J. Knutson is a professor in The School of Hospitality Business in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Widely known as an authority on emerging lifestyle trends and innovative marketing strategies, she often consults with business leaders who want to understand and take advantage of changing consumer demands.

Dr. Knutson's work has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and on PBS and CNN. She has also had numerous articles appear in industry, business, and academic publications. With her wit and entertaining style, Dr. Knutson is a frequent speaker for executive education as well as business and industry meetings, workshops, and seminars.

She has been a featured presenter for the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, Meeting Professionals International, Club Managers Association of America, National Automated Merchandising Association, US Air Force, American Marketing Association, as well as financial, health care, automotive, and education organizations throughout the United States and abroad.

Dr. Knutson is also editor of the prestigious Journal of Hospitality & Leisure Marketing. Dr. Knutson has been awarded the Withrow Award for outstanding teaching and research as well as the prestigious Golden Key Teaching Excellence Award for continued outstanding instruction and dedication to students. She has also been named an Advertising Education Foundation Teacher-Scholar.

Dr. Knutson is currently on the Advisory Council of the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, the Travel, Tourism and Recreation Resource Center, the National Michigan State University Alumni Association, and Curveware.

Ms. Knutson can be contacted at 517-353-9211 or drbonnie@msu.edu

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.