Rupesh Patel, hotel owner and founder of SmartGuests.com, a U.S. based company helps businesses like yours improve guest interactions by implementing customer service training, strategies, and marketing tools. His hands-on experiences and creative ideas have been featured in industry magazines, websites, books, and blogs.
In today’s post, Rupesh shares his passion for entrepreneurship, customer service, and marketing.
Q1: Hi Rupesh, thanks so much for being part of my Leadership Series. It’s great to speak with a fellow hotelier. How did you come to own your first hotel and how rewarding is it to have it rated one of the best in the chain?
Hi Steve, you are very welcome, great to be here. My hotel was a family business that my wife and I took over and then completely repositioned the property. It feels great to be top-ranked; the employees appreciate it and feel proud too.
Q2: Happy employees definitely make for happy customers. You’re a big proponent of helping people find ways to get more reviews for their business and you’ve come up with many fantastic tools to do so. Did this start from your own need to get more reviews for your hotel?
Yes, absolutely. I saw that reviews sites were popping up and I saw an opportunity to dominate the area with creative tools. I tried and tested out many concepts. The ones you see on my site proved to work really well.
Q3: I must say that you have come up with so many great cards, brochures, wrappers and other tools that not only help guests to leave reviews about their businesses but feel appreciated too. Well done my friend. On a similar note, can you share some of your best ways to motivate employees that can be used in any industry?
Show them appreciation and give lots of thank you’s. And of course rewards, incentives, and money!
Q4: What’s your motivation to go to the gym 6 days a week at 5 am?
What else, PIZZA!!!!!! I like to eat. HAHA. I love the energy I get from working out and 5 am is the best time for me, as my family is still asleep. When finished with the gym I take my kids to school and then I’m off to work, so the timing works perfectly.
Q5: Ah, we both have a love for pizza but I don’t have the discipline that you have Rupesh! I’ve followed your many postings where you’re hosting training classes, opening hotels or attending industry trade shows. Which is your most favorite activity?
I enjoy them all, but I really like creating things! I’m a starter. I also love seeing people’s eyes open wide when I share a creative concept that they never thought of before. I love motivating people to think outside of their bubbles.
Q6: I know your love to ask a lot of questions and “tons of whys”. How has this helped your business?
Definitely, being curious in life doesn’t stop at age 3, it continues for the rest of our lives. Being inquisitive has helped me discover myself and find clarity in all I do.
Q7: That’s so true. So what’s next for Rupesh?
I want to keep building my businesses; especially the real estate side. I foresee great fortunes that I can pass on to my future generations; all while having fun. If it’s not fun, I’m not doing it! (well, that’s what I keep telling myself.)
Thanks so much Rupesh for joining me today, it’s been fun!
Connect with Rupesh on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rupeshpatel1/ or www.rupesh.co