Denis Glibic, Hyatt’s Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing for Tanzania, Zanzibar and Ethiopia, reveals how the Hyatt Hotels’ culture of care secures year-round guest satisfaction.
Q: In your opinion, what sets the Hyatt apart from other international hotel chains?
Denis: I believe the following aspects set us apart from other hotels:
❏ Our attention-to-detail towards everything we do,
❏ Our guest experience,
❏ Our loyalty program, and
❏ Our extensive global network of hotels.
Q: Tell us about the customer journey at your hotels: from the moment guests enter till they check-out. How do you ensure they have a great experience and they are cared for?
Denis: At the Hyatt, it’s all about care. We customise our services to best serve customers belonging to different market segments. Those visiting our hotels on a holiday expect more casual and informal support while those on a business trip expect swift and efficient customer service.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best way to gather feedback from guests?
Denis:The easiest way to collect feedback is via guest questionnaires. However, the best approach is to have a direct, one-on-one conversation with the guest themselves.
Q: How is negative feedback handled by Hyatt Hotels?
Denis:At the Hyatt, we prioritize transforming any possible negative feedback into a positive experience. When this happens, our guests remain satisfied with our services and continue doing business with us.
Q: How does the Hyatt Hotel’s management team ensure that your hotel staff is happily engaged in work?
Denis:We care for people so they can be their best. This line and philosophy is central to everything we do. Everyday, we try to catch our staff doing something great, and we reward that. In my opinion, in our hotels in East Africa we’ve got a great colleague atmosphere. Staff is highly engaged, delivers maximum and this is noticed by our guests.
Q: What kind of customer service training programs do you provide to your hotel staff and how frequently?
Denis:We primarily focus on the World of Hyatt, which is our loyalty program, while training our hotel staff. Staff members also receive training on product knowledge and a customer feedback management platform.
Q: What are the key skills you focus on during these staff trainings?
Denis: Most recently, we had a rewarding in-house training session that focused on mindfulness. At the Hyatt, we place a premium on caring for our communities, which includes ensuring all new hires embrace the shared values of respect, integrity, humility, empathy, creativity and fun. Sustainable practices and strong communities are what we foster at Hyatt.
Q: What steps do you take to make sure your guests keep coming back to your hotels?
Denis: We have a guest recognition program, called GEM, that allows hotel associates to access guest preferences from anywhere in the world. Another way that we engage our guests is with our global loyalty program, the World of Hyatt. Every time a staff member delivers exceptional service or gets a special mention from a guest, they receive reward points from HYSTAR, a staff incentive program.
Q: How have you seen guests’ expectations change during your time at Hyatt Hotels? How do you keep up with these changing expectations?
Denis: Guest expectations can change on a daily basis. Every guest is different. Here the key is quality training. That can equip hotel associates with the ability to recognize changing expectations and then, to act swiftly.
Q: What is your hotel’s brand message when it comes to customer experience?
Denis: For us, one line defines our approach to customer experience: ‘We care for people so that they can be their best’.
Q: Do Hyatt Hotels believe in a sense of community when serving their guests?
Denis: Carrying forward the commitment for caring, staff belonging to our East African hotels regularly volunteer their time in the local communities. We support several orphanages in Tanzania. Our teams frequently visit residents belonging to a senior living nursing home in Zanzibar. It is important for us that we contribute, not only tangible things, but also our time and care towards the ones who need it the most. For example, in Dar Es Salaam, we sponsor several students with a one-year membership to the national library. Also, our neighboring NCT (National College of Tourism) also receives regular support from us. It is usually in the form of sponsored educational initiatives for their students.
Q: How do you ensure your hotels are a creative yet valuable place to work in?
Denis: This is the whole reason why we do what we do. Every day is a new experience and we look forward to overcoming any possible challenges. Working at HYATT is a great experience that encourages creativity.
A graduate in Marketing Management and Decision-making, Denis has spent most of his professional career working for brands like Jumeirah, Kempinski, Radisson and Starwood in Dubai. He strongly believes that each day brings another amazing opportunity to serve his colleagues and guests at the Hyatt. Denis also loves to travel as well as stay current with the latest commercial marketing developments.