Hoteliers are well used to being judged constantly by a whole host of varied people, including our guests, our competitors, critics, guide books and to an extent those we work with who look to us to help them learn, grow from their experiences with us and expect/hope that we will mentor and nurture them and help them on their career paths.
In life in general, to meet the expectations that others set for us is not always easy, it is a challenge to aspire to those high standards that others expect, but that is what makes the hospitality industry a challenging, exciting and inspiring one for so many of us… we don’t always get it just right, but we try our hardest to do so almost all of the time. But hospitality is not alone in trying to meet guests/customers expectations. As some of you are aware, because I wrote about it in this very blog, we had an ongoing problem with Sita, our refuse collection service company a few months ago; the impact of the problem was wide ranging and effected not only us but also our neighbours who looked to us to ensure that we were not disturbing them early in the morning, but due to a problem with Sita, we failed our neighbours and did not meet their expectations of us… so we had various meetings with differing hierarchy within Sita and thus far, to date, (fingers crossed!) the problems have been alleviated and everyone is happy with the service that a) we are receiving from Sita and b) we are meeting the neighbours expectations.
I was impressed that Sita arranged a follow up meeting with their regional business manager, Andy White this week, a few months after the original issue was sorted out to check that all was still as we expected and we were happy with the service provided by themselves…. I like that Andy “owned” the problem, dealt with it efficiently and professionally and has stayed in touch now and then to ensure Sita are still meeting our customer expectations- a good example of great customer service from a large company that has a regional business manager at the helm who realises it’s not just about refuse collection and how many bins are needed… it’s about engaging with customers, respecting their requirements, offering flexibility where possible and providing a great customer service to meet the clients expectations, value we try to instill in our own TerraVian team. I am happy with the service Sita is offering us, they are meeting my expectations and exceeding them with their follow up, ownership and communication and that’s all down to Andy’s commitment to us, his customer, and it is greatly appreciated. Thank you Andy and Sita.
Here at TerraVina we have a team of young staff. Our management team are exceptionally young- Charlotte, our GM is only 23, one of her assistant’s, Lucy is 22, another is 30, (so Ana is a veteran!) and our newest management recruit, Brooke is just 18…… Gerard and I are enjoying nurturing and mentoring them and in the year that Charlotte and Lucy have held their responsible positions, they have both flourished and completely exceeded our expectations- we are extremely proud of them and the rest of the team and they never cease to amaze us with their passion, commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to learn and rise to the challenge…… on the flip side of the coin, some of my expectations of them for me personally are that they keep me young, as enthused as they are, bring me kudos with my teenage son by keeping me up to date with what’s the latest musical trend and generally continue to inspire me to remain “in love” with hospitality, thanks to their thirst for experience, knowledge and their wish to learn from “old hands” like me and Gerard!
A guest remarked this week that the “Gerard and Nina Team Academy” at TerraVina was an incredible one… its fantastic that a guest noticed our young team, the talents they have and the fact that he thought we had created a staffing academy was a flattering compliment.
Thus please be assured that we and the team will continue to try to meet and exceed where possible expectations and on the occasion we don’t quite get it right, please take comfort that we care very much about our guests and we try our hardest to deliver on what we promise- great hospitality!
Thanks again Andy and Sita for a great example of good customer service from a situation that was frustrating, disappointing and a potential deal breaker- you turned it around with your efforts!
Till next time