In focus: Wyndham Hotels Ajman
2 years ago by Rimsha Salman
In an interview with CustomerService.ae, Ravi Santiago the Cluster General Manager at Wyndham Hotels Ajman speaks about how they add value for guests by offering personalized experiences. He also highlighted the focus on ‘service culture’, the facilities being offered and their customer loyalty program.
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“WE BELIEVE IT ALL STARTS WITH A SMILE AND A FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE”
Q: Tell us a bit about Wyndham hotels Ajman and what sets you apart from your competitors in the hospitality sector?
Ravi: Our group manages three Wyndham hotels in Ajman. Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Ajman, which is more popularly known as ‘Black Ramada’, is a city hotel that mainly accommodates corporate guests and groups given its room inventory of more than 350 keys.
The two other properties – Ramada by Wyndham Beach Hotel Ajman and Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche – are both beachfront hotels which are ideal for guests who are looking for a relaxing holiday in the emirate. Both properties are also considered gastronomic destinations with their award-winning and top-rated restaurants which are King’s Grill and Seascape.
One main factor which sets us apart from the competition is our ‘service culture’. We have an amazing team who will smile in all circumstances and have a never say ‘No’ attitude. This mindset of my team has brought us success and resulted in record occupancy of 95% YTD in the northern emirates in all 3 hotels.
Apart from this, our quality and scrumptious food, the facilities, the atmosphere make us stand out from the competition.
Q: Can you highlight some of the facilities and amenities that you provide which enhance the guest experience?
Ravi: The hotels offer an array of leisure and health facilities that guests can enjoy during their stay. They are provided with access to a clean private beach club with ample sun loungers. They can also opt to take a dip in the temperature-controlled indoor swimming pools in respective hotels. The hotels also have fully equipped gyms for those looking to keep fit during their stay. For the little ones, the hotels have dedicated kids’ play area.
For those looking for additional relaxation, all three hotels feature spa facilities, which offer a range of treatments including massages, facials, and Moroccan bath.
We have the best seafood restaurant in the Northern Emirates- Seascape at Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche. Currently it’s ranked as the No 1. Restaurant in Ajman on TripAdvisor.
Q: Please share with us the customer journey at your hotel from the moment a guest enters till they check out?
Ravi: The customer journey begins even before check-in. The booking process and pre-stay communication are also considered part of this journey thus, we make sure that these stages also run efficiently. Before checking in, we communicate with the guest to find out if they have special requests or specific preferences.
During check-in, our professional and friendly front office team is well-trained to ensure an easy and smooth process, even during busy periods. During the stay, all team members are always ready to assist to ensure a comfortable stay up until the guests check out.
Q: What is your philosophy when it comes to ensuring customer happiness?
Ravi: We believe it all starts with a smile and friendly atmosphere. Everything else revolves around it. We ensure before, during stay and even at departure, we give the best service to the guest.
Even after checking out, we make sure to contact the guest to get their feedback for their stay.
At the end of the day, the core of the hospitality business lies in customer happiness and satisfaction. We must ensure that we provide our guests a great value for their money with topnotch service, the atmosphere, and tasty cuisines.
Q: Do you offer any loyalty programs or discount packages for your customers?
Ravi: As part of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, our guests are entitled to be part of Wyndham Rewards Loyalty Program and earn points every time they stay in a Wyndham property. As one of the biggest hotel groups in the world, our guests can take advantage of this scheme as Wyndham has presence in more than 90 countries.
For discounts, our three properties run year-round offers on rooms, food & beverage, and other different packages across social media and other channels.
On top of these schemes and promotions, customer loyalty is built on trust on the brand and the team who works tirelessly to provide the best products and services.
We have numerous repeat guests across all our properties, as well as guests who have been staying with us for years, and we already consider them as part of our family. They are testaments on how our teams build brand loyalty.
Q: What feedback mechanisms do you have in place and how do you deal with negative feedback from your guests?
Ravi: Feedback and reviews are very important in our business. Most guests rely on these reviews when choosing which hotels or restaurants to book. Regardless of positive or negative feedback, it’s a guest opinion and we take all reviews very seriously, constructively, and positively.
We always contact the guests to get more clarity on their comments and take instant action wherever it’s practical, and find solutions.
We use all customer experience platform to assess their feedback, which then helps us boost customer satisfaction. No matter how excellent the product or service is, we strive and believe that there is always room for improvement.
Q: Do you offer online customer support and is this support 24/7?
Ravi: For guests who are staying in the hotel, we always have a 24/7 support desk, in case of requests that require immediate action.
We also have a team in charge for answering queries online and on our social media channels. Our aim is to attend to all the inquiries in less than 24 hours.
Q: How are you incorporating the latest technology to make the customer experience better?
Ravi: We have different platforms that help us improve the customer experience, including customer relationship management (CRM), customer experience platform, and social media monitoring tools.
Additionally, we use QR codes for all our outlets so that guests can access all facilities through their mobile.
Q: In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, what are some of the changes and safety measures in place at your hotels?
Ravi: Our three properties adhere to all the safety measures and protocols mandated by the UAE government, Ajman Municipality, and Ajman Tourism Development Department.
These include but are not limited to wearing of face mask, mandating social distancing and limit to the number of guests in an event, placement of hand sanitizers and signages in the hotel, and more.
In addition, all our staff members have received at least two jabs of a recommended vaccine and we are currently in the process of completing the booster shots of the entire team.
Q: Do you have any staff training programs in place and what key soft skills do you focus on?
Ravi: We have a training department to make sure that everyone will be fully equipped with the skills and knowledge to perform their duties. Not just leaving it to one department, each department head is also responsible for ensuring that their team members will continuously develop their competencies and progress on their careers.
We develop ‘train the trainer’ programs to ensure the trainings flow from top to bottom as a continuous process.
Q: How do you plan on making customer experience better in the future?
Ravi: Customer experience is at the heart of our business. With the rise of technological advancements, we will continue to provide personalized services to each guest. We will continue to listen and assess all their feedback, and continuously train our team members to further enhance the quality of service for our guests.
We also believe that hospitality can never be without a personal touch.
About Ravi Santiago
Ravi Santiago is the cluster General Manager of Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Ajman, Ramada by Wyndham Beach Hotel Ajman, and Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche. He brings in over 25 years of expertise spanning various industries, with 15 years in the hospitality sector.