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Woman, Money & Style's BTS interview with Servicexcellence - servicexcellenceblog
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Woman, Money & Style’s BTS interview with Servicexcellence

WMS got a first-of-its-kind, behind the scenes look into the inner workings of the website Servicexcellence, a Dubai-based blog which reviews restaurants in the city. But what sets this one apart is that it focusses on the service, not the food.

With an eye for service and an even better understanding of its impact on the customer’s overall experience, this blog is a great one to follow to ensure that you get treated like a queen each time you go out to dine!

Today we sit down with this mystery blogger and learn some insights into customer service in Dubai.

Q1: Servicexcellence, where did your passion for customer service come from?

For me, it all started many years ago during a family trip to Thailand. While my family members busied themselves by reading books or sunbathing, I roamed around the resort to get a feel for the place.

Making my way through the lobby, I remember noticing everything from the employees’ behaviour to the decor and flower arrangements.  A gentleman approached me and asked what I was up to. I rather boldly told him that the area would look nicer were the flowers placed on the opposite side of the entrance and that I liked the receptionist, because of her smile.

At dinner that evening, the same gentleman approached our table, informing me that hehad changed the flowers and passed on my feedback to the receptionist. It turned out that he was, in fact, the General Manager of Chedi Hotels.

I was about 15 years old then and, to this day, I still find myself drawn to the finer details in life. I followed this passion up by studying International Hotel Management in Austria, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. I have since spent many years working in the industry myself and so really appreciate professionalism in customer service, something I consider a great resource of intellectual property today.

Q2: Can you tell us about the goal of the blog?

The purpose of the blog is to share my honest experiences of real customer service withmy followers. It’s my aim to give them an idea of where to spend a romantic anniversary dinner or quality time with their family and friends without the hassle of a surly or inattentive waiter spoiling their experience.

Servicexcellence shares honest reviews and success stories in the hopes of helping diners avoid bad service and find the best location around town to unwind and relax.

Secondly, restaurateurs too can reap the benefits of constructive feedback from an objective source.

I particularly enjoy praising employees and wait staff who’ve gone that extra mile and impressed us with their excellent service – hence the name of the blog, Service & Excellence. To me, these two words go hand in hand – as excellent service is only possible if the two are integrated and come from the heart.

Q3: What is the biggest lesson you have learnt about working in the hospitality industry?

The biggest lesson I have learnt so far is that, at the end of the day, it is all about engaging with people and having a good time. This means that, when guests spend money, they expect exceptional value in return. This equates to good food and friendly service.

In an eclectic city like Dubai where different nationalities come together in a cosmopolitan environment, staff need to be engaged, valued, happy and motivated to offer their clientele the highest quality of service. The ground staff are, after all, the first impression that guests receive of the company and brand.

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Q5: Can you tell us about Servicexcellence? How did it begin?

Servicexcellence started as a personal diary and record of places that I personally enjoyed visiting and would gladly visit again, as well as which to avoid in future. I kept track of hotspots in Dubai and compared my experience to those articles and reviews published by other bloggers or magazines like Hotelier Magazine or TimeOutDubai. I then began publishing these thoughts on WordPress.org.

I soon realized that others in the online world actually read what I had to say and discovered what impact there was behind my initial idea. Slowly I found ways of promoting the blog by integrating different social media websites and starting to review regularly.

Today, one year later, I have more than 1500 followers on the blog, Facebook and Twitter, and hope to catch more people’s attention out there soon.

Q6: What rule about customer service is not true?

“The customer is always right”. This simply is not true. In my experience in the industry over the past decade, I have  met many customers who are looking for compensation or simply someone to listen to their problems.

Many people complain and argue for these reasons and, especially in Dubai, many staff are trained to offer a complimentary bottle of wine or a free meal, as it’s the easiest way to placate the customer and avoid a scene.

I believe that, when talking about “service”, one needs to do more than pander to the client’s every whim, but rather actively listen and cater to the customer’s genuine needs.

In an eclectic city like Dubai where different nationalities come together in a cosmopolitan environment, staff need to be engaged, valued, happy and motivated to offer their clientele the highest quality of service. The ground staff are, after all, the first impression that guests receive of the company and brand.

Mr. Jay at the newly opened Fraiche, in JLT Dubai –  

Q8: What is your idea of financial freedom?

Financial freedom to me means living and enjoying every moment without having to worry about how it will affect my bank balance. It means treating your husband to a romantic dinner cruise, spending a night out with the girls or meeting a bunch of friends for a Friday brunch even if it is one the more expensive venues in town.

Financial freedom is having the ability to care for someone else’s well being, your kids’ school grades or choosing where you spend your next holiday; this freedom means not worrying about the price tag or things like bills and school fees. Truly being financially free gives you the leeway not only to follow your dreams, but also to live them out and make them a reality – much like the story behind Servicexcellence.

Q9: What do you enjoy spending money on?

I love indulging in a good night out with my better half, family and friends, after having a nice, relaxing treatment at my favorite spa beforehand. I believe that being able to spend quality time with the ones you love is the most treasured gift you can possess.

Q8: What is your idea of financial freedom?

Financial freedom to me means living and enjoying every moment without having to worry about how it will affect my bank balance. It means treating your husband to a romantic dinner cruise, spending a night out with the girls or meeting a bunch of friends for a Friday brunch even if it is one the more expensive venues in town.

Financial freedom is having the ability to care for someone else’s well being, your kids’ school grades or choosing where you spend your next holiday; this freedom means not worrying about the price tag or things like bills and school fees. Truly being financially free gives you the leeway not only to follow your dreams, but also to live them out and make them a reality – much like the story behind Servicexcellence.

Q9: What do you enjoy spending money on?

I love indulging in a good night out with my better half, family and friends, after having a nice, relaxing treatment at my favorite spa beforehand. I believe that being able to spend quality time with the ones you love is the most treasured gift you can possess.

Nofara Café, JLT 

Q9: What are the three best ways you believe a woman can get ahead financially?

Passion, leadership qualities and confidence. The society of yesteryear centered around men – both in terms of politics and business, with men leading the executive boards of the top 100 successful companies. However, the coin has flipped sides with more women these days finding ways to combine family with career, and developing great confidence in their abilities.

Still, when it comes to leadership, as women, we need to work a little longer, harder and more accurately than our male colleagues to prove ourselves. I once read a quote in Cosmopolitan magazine that went something like: ‘Women are like men, only with more creativity and more attention to detail…’ I believe that, regardless of gender, the best way to get ahead financially is to be passionate about what you do, do it 110% and make your dreams become reality.

At WMS, we believe in getting the highest value for your money. And so, in the spirit of upholding those standards, we wanted to share the passion of this mystery blogger with you. Do you too have a keen eye for customer service? Well, now you know where to tune in to learn where Dubai’s best customer service is delivered!

(Source: http://womenmoneyandstyle.com)

Keep exploring,

SEB

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