Hawaii Hospitality - July/August 2013 - (Page 10)

Going Above & Beyond — Outstanding Guest Service Professionals By Jessica crawford The role of a stellar guest services department is limitless in the ways it can make a visitor's stay in Hawaii more pleasant, more fun and memorable. Guest service professionals are often referred to as the “front line” of hotel operations. Coming in direct contact with guests, how they do their jobs makes a lasting impression. Hawaii Hospitality recognizes all guest services professionals, and in this issue we feature three who share a common gift—they radiate the spirit of aloha—creating a welcoming atmosphere for all of their guests. Mylin BallesterosExemplary professionalism W ith less than three years working for the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas as a “casual,” being called upon when she is needed, Mylin Ballesteros has already made an impact. With a total of about 10 years spent in guest services, she knows what it takes to connect with nearly every guest she meets. Her secret to guest satisfaction? According to management, it is her enthused passion to provide outstanding guest service with the minimal use of the word “no.” She takes personal ownership in assisting each guest she comes in contact with. She was nominated as the resort’s Brand Champion of the Month in January 2012 and featured in an issue of Front Office magazine after the resort submitted an article on her superb performance, even creating a video about her to inspire her peers. In the past year, Ballesteros has dominated the resort’s Front Office Feedback Incentive Program. The program compiles guest reviews from Trip Advisor, Facebook, VOC’s (voice of the customer), written, verbal and Platinum Thank You cards from SPG (Starwood Preferred Guests). Ballesteros received 36 Platinum cards for exceptional service and professionalism. Each card is valued at 500 SPG points, which can be used for airline miles and gift cards. Not only does Ballesteros lead the resort in thank-you cards, she is often recognized with VOC’s on various social media channels. Her ratio is about 5-to-1 among her peers. In one month alone, she received a total of 21 VOC’s. One night before the end of her shift, a guest checked in and Ballesteros was unable to locate the room reservation. The guest accidentally had made the reservation for the following week. Ballesteros took it upon herself to find a vacant room, and asked housekeeping to prepare it so the guest would have somewhere to stay. She then worked with the corporate office to change their vacation ownership to the current week. An example of her exceptional service can be found in the customer’s feedback: “I just wanted to pass on to you that Mylin did an 10 Hawaii Hospitality ■ July/August 2013 outstanding job in what was a very challenging situation. We were basically stranded without a reservation and Mylin saved the day. She is definitely a true jewel to your company.” When asked what she enjoys most about guest service work, she replies, “It’s everything. I Mylin Ballesteros love helping guests, making Front Desk Agent sure they enjoy their vacation The Westin and communicating with Kaanapali Ocean guests. I’m a talkative person.” Resort Villas Not only is Ballesteros passionate about providing the best customer service at the Westin, she is active in the community. Although she relocated to the U.S. from the Philippines at the age of six, she realizes the poverty level and minimal resources in her hometown of Bario 4. With the hope of providing educational opportunities, she opened an Internet café in Bario 4 with computer and Internet services. The business has about 15 computers and copy machines to provide underprivileged children and adults access to technology and business services at minimal cost. Although Ballesteros has appointed a manager to run the Internet café, she provides financial assistance to ensure it has fundamental resources. She also sends clothes and school supplies each summer prior to the new school year. Her efforts in the small town have not gone unnoticed; the mayor recently acknowledged her community services. Ballesteros also serves at a number of local community organizations, including the “Making a Difference” Community Center, health and social services and youth organizations.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality - July/August 2013

New Restaurants
Beverage Trends
Guest Services
Beyond Waikiki
Talk Story with George Szigeti
Association News
News Briefs
Clean Talk with Rose

Hawaii Hospitality - July/August 2013