Customer service isn’t just a euphemism to the employees of Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, it is how the approach every aspect of the daily work. An effort is made by all employees to engage their guests in a thoughtful, caring manner. This approach goes beyond the front desk. It extends itself to each individual associate throughout the resort. The employees remember your name and greet you each moment they encounter you and not just in a robotic manner but in way that shows you they truly care about the enjoyment of your stay.
Finding employees that truly care about your customers is an everyday battle that can confound even the most driven of managers. The task is daunting in its enormity. There are plenty of people who what the job but few who really want to do the work the job requires. So how does an employer go about finding the best to accomplish the goals of the company?
Christie Glaeser, Human Resources Manager for Original Bread, Inc, the Kansas area franchisee for Panera Bread stated “We look at how people treat others from the moment they arrive for the interview. It is the small things like opening doors or making sure a guest gets a drink before them prior to their interview that we like to see. You can teach anyone to make a turkey sandwich, but you cannot teach someone to be nice.”
Scott Redler, an owner and operating partner of Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers stated “We hire only general managers that excel in hospitality, and to insure that we get the right managers, the general managers are part of a potentially very rewarding income, bonus, and ownership program. Our general managers typically have stock rights to their restaurant, and this helps them focus on making good long term decisions for their business. As a matter of fact, our corporate Freddy’s have only turned over one general manager in 8 years, and this puts us at a great advantage over most companies in our industry.”
Often, in service industries, the attitude of the managers greatly impacts the attitudes of the associate on the front line. A positive manager with the proper customer service approach means that associates with a like minded approach are more liking to be recognized, hired and retained.
Redler emphasized this by saying “The net of this is that all of our managers and general managers enjoy what they do and this attitude is carried out by our team members. Our team members enjoy what they do and this shows by having exemplary hospitality and guest service in our restaurants. Our goal is to hopefully hire only people that match these attitudes and having team members that enjoy taking care of our guests.”
Ojai Valley Inn and Spa has the system running full throttle. As Chuck, a member of the front desk staff said in a matter of fact voice “It’s no problem. It’s what we love doing. And I sincerely hope you enjoyed your stay. See you again soon.” He’s just one of many employees who loves his job. How many of your employees love their job? Or, maybe more importantly, do you love your job?