Interview with Bill Keffer – General Manager JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. He is leading the hotel team of 1,200 associates and more than 70 nationalities.
What are the main characteristics of the service excellence you offer compared to the other hotels of the city?
In JW Marriott we believe in service excellence. Our hotel differentiates itself from our competitors as we are offering an elegant yet approachable luxury, drawing in travelers who are unimpressed by extravagance. Being the largest hotel in the UAE and the World’s Tallest Hotel, we can still offer the well-known JW service.
Besides the service, we also provide guests 24 hour facilities and services, so our guest can meet, dine, relax and sleep under one roof. With 14 award-winning restaurants, bars and lounges, over 8,000 sqm of meeting space and over 4,300 sqm of wellness facilities we can cater to the passion points of the ‘accomplished traveler’ which are culture, culinary arts and wellness.
Each employee is an ambassador of his hotel and the promise of expected services. What actions do you put in place to involve your team in the success of the customer experience? How do you motivate them so that they give the best of themselves?
Bill Marriott set 12 rules for success, which he crafted in 1964 but are still as relevant as ever today and one of the most important rules he mentioned was: “Take care of associates and they will take care of the customers”, and this is one of the foundations of the company which is very alive in all Marriott hotels around the world and certainly in our hotel. Each employee is an ambassador and is empowered to deliver exceptional experiences.
Marriott hires for attitude and believes that skills can be learned. We have an incredible team of over 1,450 associates from over 70 nationalities we can cater to all our guest’s needs and can relate to and anticipate their expectations. To guide our associates to deliver intuitive service, our trainings focus on service skill development. Intuitive service isn’t easy, and this is when associates are mentored in how to master the art of serving guests without crowding them.
At JW Marriott we also believe that in order to sustain excellence, we need to acknowledge it. JW Storytelling is an important practice where we as leaders share the best guest experiences – instances when associates went above and beyond to bring JW culture to life. In this way, recognizing excellent work builds price in our associates and inspires them to create new noteworthy experiences. Other on-property practices are in place such as standing ovations and high notes to complement the JW recognition program. High Notes are designed to provide recognition at the individual level, which is given out by the direct leader to provide immediate, specific, individualized recognition to an associate. Associates may also nominate colleagues who are deserving of a Standing Ovation by submitting a Standing Ovation story. The Standing Ovation story describes in detail the nominee’s truly exceptional performance and how it aligns with JW Marriott’s culture.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.