Raffles Hotel’s Carl V. Sladen talks exceeding expectations in Cambodia

Director of Sales and Marketing Carl V. Sladen at Raffles Hotel Le Royal and Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor shared with ASIA DMC the meaning of going beyond expectations and how Raffles has improved service standards and customer focus. 

Q: What does it mean for a tourism operator to go beyond expectations, to go the extra mile?

A: We are in an industry where we have the ability to create fabulous memories that can last for a lifetime.  However, this is no easy task, it is a process that only succeeds through hoteliers and travel partners passion, a genuine desire to exceed expectations, active engagement with stakeholders and ultimately the guest.  We live and work in an increasingly competitive environment – more hotels, more activities, greater variety of booking channels, and less time.

Therefore, to get the guest experience right, we must ask questions, keep digging deeper, use all available resources to gain information and find out what will WOW a guest. If hoteliers can deliver this experience you have instant recognition, through social media together with other digital platforms.

Q: How do you, on a personal level and with the Raffles, do it?

A: For me, I have always asked questions to try and assist in delivering that ‘WOW moment’, and have also instilled this into my teams over the years.  Thus, trying to find out what we can do to provide a lasting memory.  Once the information is sourced, it’s up to the S&M team to work magic with operational colleagues to find creative and personalised options to suit each opportunity.  This process works for both FIT travellers and MICE programmes – both are equally important and provide the same rewards when we get it right.   

In Raffles this is expanded throughout the hotel with all colleagues having the ability to deliver a ‘WOW moment’ and be recognised for it. Having the entire team engaged and driven to provide special moments helps define a luxury experience – which Raffles Hotel Le Royal and Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor strive to do on a daily basis.   Synergy between hotels also helps – with Raffles now part of ACCORHOTELS, we see many of the same travellers as Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in particular, along with Sofitel Luang Prabang – which adds to that recognition factor and loyalty for the next trip.  

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