• Customer Service Excellence

    Best Customer Service Ireland
    Irish Restaurants Awards 2018

6 Secrets to Customer Service Excellence

Deirdre’s Diary

Best Customer Service Ireland - Irish Restaurants Awards 2018

Best Customer Service Ireland
Irish Restaurants Awards 2018

What is Customer Service Excellence?

There are many interpretations of this question and just as many answers. Actually I think it’s very simple. Customer service is just how you treat your customers, how you service them, and what and how you deliver. Good customer service entails meeting expectations. Great customer service entails exceeding expectations.

Harvey’s Point has been the proud recipient of many accolades which recognise our efforts in delivering exceptional standards of customer care. But it is only our customers who can tell us how we doing. Therefore, internally, we are constantly measuring our performance in this regard.

So how do we aspire to and achieve Customer Service Excellence?


1. VISION / MISSION

It is our Vision to be recognised as one of the leading hotels in Ireland, delivering world class excellence in hotel-keeping and Irish hospitality.

Each member of our team is aware of the importance of their role in achieving our goals of excellence. There are three essential elements to our Mission – Happy Guests, Happy Staff & Sustainable Profitability. This provides the framework for our business. All our behaviour and actions are aligned with our Vision and Mission.

6 Secrets to Customer Service Excellence at Harvey’s Point

2. OUR CULTURE – ‘One Dream, One Team’

There is something truly special about the culture within Harvey’s Point. It is the most precious and perhaps the most important part of our strategy and it is the key to our success. Our customer focussed culture has evolved over time, and while the hotel has become bigger and busier during the past twenty-nine years, our core values have remained the same. There is a sense of caring that is shared by the owners, management and staff, caring for each other (as internal customers) and caring for our discerning guests. As one team, we celebrate the highs and stick together during the lows of hotel life. The positive culture in our organisation energises us and motivates us to aspire to excellence, together.

3. LISTENING TO OUR CUSTOMERS

Every customer has a voice and that voice has to be heard in order to firstly understand and ultimately anticipate and deliver their needs. Listening to our customers is a vital step in our service delivery. We listen carefully and try to pick up on guest cues and then act on them. The act of listening occurs well before our guests arrive, during their stay and indeed after they have departed. There are so many platforms from which we can learn from our guests, either face to face, through social media and even from other guests, who visit us because of high recommendation and referral. One of the key questions that we ask our guests when gathering feedback is “How likely are you to recommend Harvey’s Point to a friend?” This Net Promoter Score gives us a clear indication of our ranking in customer service delivery.

6 Secrets to Customer Service Excellence at Harvey’s Point

4. LISTENING TO AND EMPOWERING OUR TEAM

We recognise that our team holds the key to how our customers are feeling and they also have ideas on how to raise the bar in terms of higher standards, more efficient work practices etc. Whether front of house, back of house, long serving or just in the door for a summer season, each staff member has a connection to the hotel and it’s growth. Our high percentage of staff retention is very much appreciated by our many regular guests. Our team has the confidence and ability to know how to make a guest feel special. It’s the little touches that count most, be it the handwritten card in the room on arrival, the complimentary bubbles in celebration of a special occasion or simply a warm handshake and a friendly smile. They are also empowered to deal with issues if and when they arise and to endeavour to turn a negative situation into a positive one. Communication is key to ensuring that any shortcomings are followed up by management before a guest departs. All written guest comments are responded to and used constructively to improve our service offering.

5. SERVICE STANDARDS

While our simple mantra is that we ‘hire for attitude and train for skill’, it is nevertheless important that we strike a balance that is aligned with our ‘Swiss Made In Ireland’ slogan – which is to deliver the highest possible standards of hotel-keeping blended with authentic Irish hospitality. Our ongoing, in-house training programme educates our staff to succeed in their respective roles. We are also participating in the Failte Ireland Accredited Service Excellence Programme, which trains front-line staff to maximise their potential in customer relationships and satisfaction. There are clearly defined service standards (SOP’s) which are essential in maintaining consistency and measuring performance.

6 Secrets to Customer Service Excellence at Harvey’s Point

6. BEING CREATIVE

In our quest for continuous improvement, were are always in search of new ideas to surprise and delight our guests. No longer is a hotel guest satisfied with the ‘equation’- ‘2B&B & 1D’- they are looking for an enjoyable and memorable experience. Ironically, it was the recession that inspired us to think outside the box in terms of how to create added value rather than discounting, which our family business could not sustain. We now host complimentary in-house activities such as cookery demonstrations, wine tastings and regular ‘Meet & Greet’ drinks receptions for residents. This is a unique way in which to engage with our customers. Our other ‘secret’ is to ensure that every one of our team plays their part in customer service. For example, chefs, house-keeping and maintenance staff are encouraged to interact with our guests as well as those who work on the frontline.

GO THE EXTRA MILE WITH A SMILE 🙂

Customer service excellence at Harvey’s Point has always been and will always be one of our critical competitive advantages. Following extensive building work over the past few years, 2018 has been deemed “The Year of the Customer”. Our entire team has bought into this idea. We have recruited a new Guest Relations Manager so that he and his team can keep raising the bar of excellence. Led by the Gysling family and Noel our General Manager, memorable service experiences are delivered in a genuine manner in a way that compliments our brand. Our motto is “go the extra mile with a smile”.

Deirdre McGlone

June 2018

Deirdre McGlone
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