‘Wowing the guest can’t be found in a manual’

Hyatt Regency Delhi has always been a favorite among travelers. Julian Ayers, who recently took over as the property’s General Manager, lays out his plans to bring more to the table.

You recently took over as the General Manager of Hyatt Regency Delhi, alongside overseeing operations in other Hyatt properties in North India. Considering the wealth of experience you’ve gained by working in properties around the world, what best practices do you intend to implement to enhance the value proposition of brand Hyatt?

My main focus is to bring my global experience to invoke a spirit of innovation and diversity at Hyatt Regency Delhi along with doing little things that make a difference and make someone’s day whether it is a guest or a team member.

In your opinion, what are the three key attributes that are required for a hotel to bring back repeat customers?

In order to be successful in any business, it is not enough to just attract new guests. Retaining the existing guests and bringing back guests is equally important to create a name in any industry. Creating an amazing guest experience is the key to creating loyal guests. In the hospitality industry, guest satisfaction largely depends on the quality of service and going that extra mile to ensure all your guests have a super visit.

What does customer service personally mean to you? 

The guest service is central to the hospitality industry. Great guest service is key for increasing revenues but is also helpful for brand development and guest retention. For me, guest service is defined by the drive to exceed guest’s expectations and to always work from the heart. Wowing the guest cannot be found in a manual, it can be inspired by outstanding working conditions and a genuine desire to help people.

Having worked in properties around the world, what were your key learnings during your tenure?First, no two assignments are alike, what worked in once place doesn’t mean it will work in the new place; so make use of the wealth of knowledge already in your team because one size really does not fit all. Second, don’t try to fix things thing that is not broken – change for the sake of it is not a good thing, Third, it needs to be fun – if the team is enjoying their work then the guests will enjoy their visit.

In general, what are the challenges faced by the Indian hospitality industry?

India’s hospitality industry is growing rapidly and competition is increasing constantly as well. Within the hotel industry, one bad experience is enough to turn away guests. Driven by guest expectations, the hotel industry is facing a vast set of challenges. Shortage of skilled employees, shortage of rooms, intense competition and guest expectations are few of the challenges faced by the hospitality industry.

In your opinion, what is the best way to market an Indian hotel?

Marketing a hotel involves following a step-by-step approach and consistently putting efforts to get results. In my opinion, word of mouth is the winner. Having a personal recommendation is always the best. Beyond that, we live in a digital world and as our guests become more and more tech-savvy, we must adapt and adjust to stay relevant.

What lies ahead for Indian hospitality?

The Indian hospitality industry has grown at a huge pace and is directly linked with the tourism industry. The industry is expected to grow further with an emphasis on sustainability. With the rising awareness amongst people about the harmful effects of plastic – to the environment as well as the people, hotels all over India have started taking steps and measures to reduce plastic in their day-to-day business. For instance, Hyatt Regency Delhi has actively taken steps to end plastic use at the hotel. A step in that direction The fully automated water-bottling plant aims to end the use of approximately 1.08 million plastic bottles a year by switching to reusable glass bottles. This process saves 28 tonnes of plastic waste every year.