An Interview with Joeki Genet

Guest Service Assistant & Concierge

What does your role at The Dylan entail and what does your typical day look like?
I am both a Concierge and a Guest Service Assistant at The Dylan. As a Guest Service Assistant, I am responsible for the welcome, the check-in, the guests’ needs during their stay, the check-out and the goodbye. And as a Concierge, I also tend to all arrange the things outside of the hotel. These tasks are arranging private tours and museum tickets, limousine transfers, making recommendations and reservations for a restaurant, giving suggestions on how to spend the day and much more.

My day starts with reviewing the notes on guests, so who has checked in and who is checking out, reviewing what they have requested and preparing for whatever that might be. We are in touch with some guests already per email, to arrange an itinerary or any special wishes before they arrive. During the day, new things might come up, so it’s good to always be prepared for that.

You make recommendations to guests – how do you stay informed about things going on in Amsterdam?
There are always new things popping up. I stay informed by cycling around the city or talking to friends and colleagues in the business. It’s important to keep your eyes and ears open and to be curious about what is going on.

Is it challenging to give recommendations when so many people look ahead online?
Yes, it can be. Luckily I am a born-and-bred Amsterdammer. The internet is very informative, but there are some things that just the locals know, like places of the beaten path. Some people like to stick to the evergreen sights and attractions, but others want to see Amsterdam from a different angle. I try to understand each guest and what they might like and make as personalized recommendation as possible, which is something the internet cannot provide. It’s also easier to trust a local’s recommendations over an online review.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
I always compare what I do at The Dylan to professional team sports. You have to be a team player and work together to win. And you’re not going to win if you don’t work hard. It’s like playing for Ajax or the New York Yankees: You need to have professional people and you need to perform every day, day after day.
The absolute best feeling is when we do our utmost best. When guests tell us they had a wonderful stay, when they come back to stay with us or when they recommend us to others, that is motivation to keep performing at our level.

And what’s the most challenging?
To always work at 100% or higher. I believe there is always room to improve, even if it’s just in the little things. If you see something that can make the job easier or the guest happier, try to do it the next time. Always try to optimize and make your job more perfect, through communication or through processes. A little thing can make a big difference to make the guest experience even smoother.

In your opinion, what makes an excellent Guest Service Assistant and Concierge?
It is crucial to understand people, to know them without actually knowing them. To have a feeling of who you have in front of you. You have to pick up certain signals. One guest might like to go to the newest nightclub with loud music, but the other might enjoy a hidden restaurant that’s quiet and cosy. The second step is to always be a step ahead. Just like in chess.

What’s the most fun / interesting / memorable request you’ve ever had?
Every day is different and every guest is interesting. Nothing too crazy has happened yet, but there is still time for that!

What would you recommend to guests to do and see in the new year?
2019 was the year of Rembrandt, so this year I recommend visitors to also discover the smaller museums which have fantastic exhibitions. I also really hope that it will snow this winter and that the canals will freeze over. It’s such a beautiful and romantic sight, to see people ice skating over the canals. You can enjoy traditional pea soup and sip a hot chocolate with cream. January is the kick-off of the tulip season and on the 18th everybody is invited to pick their own free tulips on Dam Square.