Front-of-house interview: Meet Birles Bizhkenov, front office manager at Rixos the Palm

Birles Bizhkenov, the front office manager at Rixos the Palm talks about his role, why he chose the hospitality industry and five tips for guest satisfaction

Birles Bizhkenov, front office manager at Rixos the Palm
Birles Bizhkenov, front office manager at Rixos the Palm

Sum up your role in 50 words.
It is said that first impressions are the ones that last and no one has a second chance to make a first impression. The front office department has the important role of being the face of the hotel, as well as the number one point in terms of any interaction with guests on arrival, during the stay and upon departure.
    Because I lead the team with such an important responsibility, I always ensure that every single guest gets the warmest welcome. I also make sure that their experience is seamless and expectations are exceeded through the service by each Team member.       

What made you want to work in hospitality industry?
I chose to work in the industry because of the different kind of people we meet and the one-of-a-kind experiences that we endure on a daily basis. Being in the hospitality business means dealing with so many different people which makes every day of your life so unique.

Any career obstacles?
To be very honest I do not see any career obstacles in the hospitality industry as any success and growth is purely in our hands.    Your passion, dedication to what you do, right attitude towards guests, colleagues and the duties along with hard work will reflect on your career growth.

What makes you thrive in your place of work?
Being able to create once-in-a-lifetime memorable moments for guests and seeing them genuinely happy. Gratitude of my guests is the greatest motivation.

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Tell us about your experience in the industry.
I started my hotelier journey back in 2005 and have come a long way from barman to front office manager. Before coming to Dubai I have worked in countries like Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Belarus and Seychelles Islands.

How do you monitor feedback?
We focus on face-to-face real time communication with our in-house guests to get their opinion. Apart of that we use different reports from our PMS, surveys, emails and platforms like TripAdvisor, HolidayCheck, Booking.com and more. We do pay high attention to timely responses and reactions to any feedback we get from our guests.

What do you do to motivate yourself?
I always remind myself that every new day brings millions of opportunities to make someone’s day brighter and happier which never goes unrewarded by the universe.  

Five tips for guest satisfaction
• Always keep in mind that the guest is paramount.
• Be sincere in every word and action.
• Do not only listen, but hear your guests and feel their needs and expectations.
• Individualise every single experience.
• Do not set limits in what you can do to make your guest happy and never stop challenging yourself. Simple little things and efforts may create a huge difference in guest experience.

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