INTERVIEW

In Focus: Vittori Palace Hotel & Residences

2 months ago by

In an interview with CustomerService.ae, the Director of Sales and Marketing of Vittori Palace Hotel & Residences in Riyadh, Mustafa Afifi talks about the attentive team working to ensure a luxurious guest experience. He also speaks about the role and importance of customer feedback in the hospitality sector.

In Focus:  Vittori Palace Hotel & Residences

Q: In your opinion, what sets Vittori Palace apart from other international hotels? 

Afifi: Vittori Palace Hotel & Residences is a luxury brand hotel operated by Artal Hotel Company. Vittori Palace Hotel Riyadh is the perfect starting point for your business trip to the Riyadh capital, as it lies in the heart of Riyadh City, located near the city center and business district, just a few stops from Riyadh’s fairgrounds. Vittori Palace Hotel Riyadh is the nearest luxury hotel from King Khaled International Airport (Riyadh Airport). With an attentive team, offering a breakfast buffet rich in variety, generous and functional rooms and suites makes the stay at our business hotel a special experience. With seven modern meeting and event rooms on 500 square meters, the Vittori Palace Hotel Riyadh is very popular with event planners. All in all, the hotel comprises of 354 spacious rooms and suites, including the Royal Suite on 220 square meters and three types of Villas.

Q: Tell us about the customer journey at Vittori Palace from the moment guests enter till they check-out. How do you take care of them and ensure they get great customer service?

Afifi: We establish a connection with the guest right from the start by sending them an email. This allows us to set the tone for the guest’s stay and it helps us gather valuable information about them before they even step foot on our property.

Guests of the Vittori Palace are amazed at how genuinely kind the staff is. From thoughtful greetings upon entering the lobby to personally following up on special requests like restaurant recommendations, the staff at Vittori Palace feel more like friends than employees. We send follow up emails after clients’ book their rooms, when they check-in, and after they’ve returned home.

Q: In your opinion, what is the best way to gather feedback from guests staying at your hotel?

Afifi: Feedback from guests, whether good or bad, is key to managing a flourishing hotel. Our Hotel reservation is largely impacted by guest reviews, particularly online. Every guest arriving at Vittori Palace Hotel is unique hence, one feedback method would not work with all. There are various channels through which one can try to get maximum number of guests to provide feedback.

The easiest and most effective method to get feedback from your guests is while they are still at your property. While at the Vittori Palace hotel, hotel managers and staff in general approach customers for their feedback through Feedback cards, Feedback via phone call, Personal Interaction and Mobile Guest Engagement Solution.

Social Media is both critical as well as a useful tool for hotel businesses and a right channel for customer feedback. Our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts encourage guests to tag the Vittori Palace hotel in their posts, as it is a good way to strike a conversation with guests and know their experiences. We have staff members check the Vittori Palace Hotel’s Twitter account every two hours, so that if there is any negative feedback, staff can look after them before the situation is out of control.

Staff can also send Customer Feedback Survey along with the email to be filled by the guests. Vittori Palace Hotel assesses the feedback received from various channels employed to develop a better understanding of our guests in terms of their expectations and what more staff can do to make their stay more pleasurable.

Q: What steps do you take to make sure you offer a memorable experience to your guests and keep them coming back? 

Afifi: Here are six ways to go above and beyond good service and boost customer loyalty:

  • Attentiveness
  • Recognition
  • Personalization
  • Consideration
  • Appreciation
  • Delight

Q: How often do you conduct trainings for your frontline staff and what are the key soft skills that you focus on?

Afifi: Frontline staff is the core of the Vittori Palace customer service. Therefore, Vittori Palace Hotel pays special attention to human capital and we have a guest-centric approach. We hire the right people for the frontline, train them for emotional intelligence, and test them for motivation, core values, product and service knowledge and give them sales training.

Q: What is your hotel’s brand philosophy when it comes to Customer Happiness?

Afifi: We are a luxury brand with an incredible family of associates who put the soul in hospitality every day. The needs of our guests and associates are at the forefront of everything we do. Through authenticity and innovation, we create unique memorable experiences.

Q: How are you using technology to further enhance the guest experience at Vittori Palace?

Afifi: We are doing the following:

  • Share Important Updates On Video Walls
  • Offer All Guests Free WiFi Throughout the Hotel
  • Cyber security
  • Personalized guest experiences
  • Hotel management software
  • Solicit Feedback From Guests
  • Update the Soundscape Through Vittori Palace Hotel

Q: What are your plans to ensure a luxurious Customer Service Experience in the future? 

Afifi: We are working on the following areas:

  • Create a clear Guest experience vision.
  • Create an emotional connection with Vittori Palace hotel guests
  • Use a quality framework for development of the hotel team
  • Act upon regular employee feedback
  • Measuring customer experience by using Media Monitoring tools out there that can measure customer sentiment.

About Mustafa Afifi

Mustafa Afifi is a Professional Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing with over 20 years of extensive experience in overall hotel operations, strategic planning and leadership. Throughout his career, he gained multi-brand experience & pre-opening and property acquisition in Saudi Arabia.