Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Earwaker

Steve Earwaker

Vice President, Medallia, Inc.

Steve Earwaker is Vice President and a member of the executive team at Medallia, Inc., a Customer Experience Management (CEM) provider headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. An expert in CEM solutions, he has overseen the development of Medallia's customer experience measurement and management solutions in hospitality, financial services and business-to-business. Recently, he has been leading the company's global expansion efforts. Over the past decade, Mr. Earwaker has worked with many of the global top-ten hotel companies, helping them design, deploy and manage customer experience measurement and loyalty tracking systems. His background in enterprise software, statistical analysis and advanced marketing research solutions has provided additional value in developing these programs. Mr. Earwaker has a unique ability to simplify and apply customer insights to address strategic business problems, and years of experience applying this knowledge to bring value to leading global brands. He also led the design and development of Medallia's competitive tracking for the hotel industry, the Consumer Hotel Usage and Behaviors product offering. This continuous tracking program follows the consumer usage and loyalty of 80 competitive hotel brands and offers on-demand analysis and insights. Mr. Earwaker has a unique combination of skills and experience: a strong academic and operational foundation in consumer research, two decades of experience applying that knowledge commercially, and an understanding of how to leverage technology to improve customer loyalty and drive bottom-line ROI. Prior to Medallia, Mr. Earwaker held leadership positions at several enterprise software and consumer research companies, where he developed large customer satisfaction and loyalty tracking programs for Fortune 100 clients in automotive and financial services industries. An early adopter of online research techniques, he pioneered the implementation of online customer satisfaction research, online conjoint/pricing, online product concept testing, and online market segmentation research. Mr. Earwaker is a certified customer experience management professional (GCEM certification), a certified market research professional (CMRP designation), and a formally trained survey researcher. He holds a Masters degree in Statistics from the University of Waterloo.

Mr. Earwaker can be contacted at 650-321-3000 or info@medallia.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.