FOUR DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
When the WaterColor Inn in northwest Florida wanted to earn a four-diamond rating from AAA, it called on Signature Worldwide and its Customer Experience Edge.
“One of the things we decided early on, in order for us to achieve our goals with customer service, was we needed to take a professional approach and needed a coordinated effort to get everyone on the same page,” says Stephen Hilliard, WaterColor vice president, resort and club operations. “When we were looking at different companies, I was concerned about someone that could come in and tailor their program to our specific needs. That's where Signature excelled.”
Signature Senior Vice President John Ely says the power of the program comes from the assessment team that personalizes the training to fit the customer.
The challenge for Hilliard was getting consistent and high-quality customer service across the 499-acre coastal resort and residential community with 250 employees, many of whom came and went with the seasonal nature of the business.
“It's important to us that all of our team members know we're all in this together,” Hilliard says, “and that we're trying to deliver an exceptional experience the entire way.”
WaterColor started with Signature's Customer Experience Edge training program in March 2006. The program provided an organization-wide approach to creating a customer-service culture that focused on customizing experiences. Employees learned to foster customer loyalty through awareness, building relationships and taking ownership.
The results were almost immediate. In the first year with Signature, ADR increased 20 percent and occupancy was up 25 percent. WaterColor also earned AAA's four-diamond rating.
Hilliard extended the contract with Signature after just nine months and continues to use the service.
“If you don't keep this up,” he says, “you're right back where you started.”
Perfect for when the valet service is off duty and for light travelers, the Corby pants press is now distributed by Focus Products. Guests have no need to struggle with an iron thanks to the valet stand that presses pants.
Down Alternative Pillow
Golden Mills' new Golden Memory down alternative pillow from A-1 Textiles contains a cluster ball polyester fill that's produced from 100-percent recycled PET bottles. It requires 14 PET bottles to fill each standard-sized pillow and by recycling those bottles, pollution levels are reduced. The fiber is resilient through 25 washings and 25,000 compression tests.
The SICO Starlight Portable Dance Floor is a maintenance-free surface resistant to spilled drinks, warping, chipping and fading, says the company. The durable surface is for indoor and outdoor use, and the caddy has a walk-in design and allows storage of up to 24 panels plus all matching trim.
The PT-2100, Brother's latest P-touch electronic labeling system, is an affordable and attractive labeling solution for consumer use, more advanced office use and light commercial applications. The PT-2100 model functions both as a standalone electronic labeling system or can be connected to a PC for more advanced graphics, as well as bar code and database label printing.
Green-Key is an environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional plastic hotel keycard. Unlike plastic keycards, Green-Key is recyclable, biodegradable and produced from paperboard, a renewable resource. By allowing guests to recycle Green-Key at the end of their stay, hotels can provide a more secure and sanitary alternative.
Dometic introduces the 30-liter HiPromatic 3000, which the company says is the world's smallest wireless automated refreshment center. With its plug-and-play wireless installation, the hotel can place the refreshment center in any location. The many shelving options hold as many as 28 products.
Rubbermaid Commercial Products' Silent Defenders step cans feature damper-controlled lids that glide closed without a sound. The positive leverage foot pedal and self-closing lid allow for hands-free operation. The lid features a sturdy piano hinge with a restraint mechanism to prevent damage to walls and equipment.
FSR's SADA-4 and SADA-6 are one-input and four- or six-output stereo audio distribution amplifiers that accept balanced or unbalanced inputs and outputs and can be configured for stereo or mono. Built-in features include individually buffered and amplified outputs that are short circuit-protected.
Continental Girbau introduces the new M-Series hard-mount line of washer-extractors, available in 25-, 40- and 55-pound capacities. The new M-Series Washer provides improved energy efficiency and higher G-force extract speeds than most washers, says the company.
INNCOM's new ecoMODE thermostat invites guests to participate in hotel sustainability programs. The addition of a green button on the e4 smart digital thermostat provides an easy way for guests and housekeeping staff to activate a temperature reduction. Guests will know the property is eco-friendly and ecoMODE will reduce energy usage and operating costs.
Minibar Systems' SmartTrays, an in-room retail solution, have expanded with single, four, eight and 12 sensor trays. Independent sensor trays are available for custom basket, tray, drawer or pullout shelf applications. The software is Windows network-ready and can be interfaced with most PMS technology. PDAs allow real-time communication with the hotel staff via Bluetooth wireless technology.
Geerpres introduces BioShield 75, a patented biostatic antimicrobial surface protectant that reduces the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi, mold and mildew. BioShield 75, a water-based, non-toxic liquid protectant, is odorless and colorless. It uses a biostatic mechanical process and is safe for use within a wide range of environments.
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