Hameed Ali, General Manager Gulf Hotel, shares how a customer-centric approach leads to a memorable customer experience -every time.
Q: In your opinion, what sets the Gulf Hotel apart from other hotels in Bahrain?
Hameed: Unlike other hotels in Bahrain, the Gulf Hotel stands out due to its luxurious interior, the ongoing special offers and discounts as well as the exceptional variety of dining options.
Q: Tell us about the customer journey at your hotel: from the moment guests enter till they check-out. How do you ensure that they have a great experience and they are cared for?
Hameed: Our staff tries to form a friendly relationship with the customer as soon as he walks in. Once the customer has checked in, we offer them a complimentary tour of the hotel’s premises.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best way to gather feedback from guests?
Hameed: We believe that the best way to gather feedback is through a friendly, face-to-face conversation. We also request our guests to share the experience of their stay on our social media profiles.
Q: How do you deal with dissatisfied customers?
Hameed: Guests make up the very “heart” of the Gulf Hotel. If any guest has queries or complaints, we have an ‘At Your Service’ help desk set up to resolve our customers’ complaints. In case a customer is dissatisfied, we try to make up for it by offering them a complimentary meal at our hotel.
Q: How does the Gulf Hotel’s management team ensure that hotel staff is happily engaged in work?
Hameed: We offer team building programs for our employees that include sightseeing, picnics, and sports competitions. We believe the following are great ways to keep our employees motivated; incentive-based programs like a yearly bonus, employee of the month, monthly employee rewards based on happy guests. We also carry out in-house training programs to constantly improve our team’s performance.
Q: What kind of customer service training programs do you provide to your hotel staff and how frequently?
Hameed: We host training sessions throughout the year to enhance our employees’ service and management skills. Moreover, we also send our managers abroad for state-of-the-art, industry-specific training.
Q: What are the key skills that you focus on during these staff trainings?
Hameed: Our training sessions focus on communication skills and great management skills.
Q: What steps do you take to make sure your guests keep coming back to the Gulf Hotel?
Hameed: With ‘Service from the Heart’ as our slogan,every employee at the Gulf Hotel understands how important it is to put both their heart and soul into their work. For our guests, we have an ongoing loyalty program that provides them with significant discounts at all ten of our on-site restaurants.
Q: How does the Gulf Hotel plan to offer an even better customer experience in the future?
Hameed: Beyond a doubt, customer service is now the new battleground. We believe in keeping up with all the latest technological advances, without compromising on time-tested hospitality traditions. Above all, we prioritize taking good care of our guests.
Hameed Ali, General Manager Gulf Hotel, has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Hameed is among the few Bahrainis who have achieved the position of General Manager at a hotel. Some of his key strengths are the development, project management and launch of new hotels in the region.