Trump Ocean Club Sets High Standard In Customer Service

Friday, September 16, 2011 - 13:29

Trump Ocean Club Sets High Standard In Customer Service

September 16th, 2011

Panama City, Panama: In a breakfast sponsored by AmCham Panama’s Professional Services Committee and its Chairman, Jorge Mastellari, Mr. Mark Stevenson, Vice President and Managing Director of Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower, and his executive team talked about best practices in customer service. Two months since the official opening of the Trump hotel and residences in Panama City, the company has grown to 450 employees, all of which have graduated from a rigorous orientation process and ongoing training to create an unparalleled guest experience for visitors and residents.

Ahden Busch, President of the Institute of Customer Service - Panama, introduced Mark and his team of excellence. Several members of the executive team of Trump Ocean Club spoke, including: Ms. Wally PreteltKieswetter, Training Manager; Mr. Sam Basu, Director of Operations; and Kristin Dove, Director of Residences.

Mr. Stevenson described the ideal employee profile that his team looks for in each prospective employee. The ideal employee must be bi-lingual, charismatic, confident and must have a high-energy personality with a positive attitude. Experience in the hospitality industry is secondary to the qualities outlined above.

Sam Basu spoke about the high standards each employee must meet in terms of customer service. The ideal Trump employee must anticipate the client’s expectations and exceed them. Employees are monitored and rewarded for top performance. Persistent non-performers are dismissed. Daily “Trump Talks” help keep employees focused and boost employee morale.

Perhaps the most interesting topic of the breakfast was an outline of the training program given by Ms. Wally Pretelt-Kieswetter, whose past experience includes working at The Walt Disney Company, a world-class hospitality and entertainment corporation renowned for its exemplary customer service. New employees undergo a two and a half day intensive orientation that teaches attention to detail, creative problem solving, etiquette and other service basics through role play.

Ms. Pretelt-Kieswetter passed out a pamphlet to each AmCham member that outlines Trump’s eleven “Service Basics” which each employee, from doorman to executive, practices daily:

  1. Anticipate Guest’s Needs - Enhance each guest experience by going beyond his usual request.
  2. Nothing Less than 100% - 100% satisfaction is the responsibility of each associate.
  3. Know Your Product - Be an expert as it relates to details surrounding your hotel destination and job function.
  4. Never Say No - If for any reason you are unable to meet the guest’s expectations, be creative and offer other options.
  5. Each Guest Has a Name - Remember to use the guest’s name whenever possible. Doing so makes them feel welcome and at home.
  6. Use Trump Telephone Etiquette - The telephone is often the guest’s first impression. Answer the phone within three rings with enthusiasm and a smile in your voice. Never put a guest on hold without asking him first.
  7. The 10/5 Rule - Whenever you are within 10 feet of a guest, make eye contact and smile. Within 5 feet of a guest, acknowledge them with a warm, appropriate and sincere greeting.
  8. Escort Our Guests - When guests ask for directions, do not point. Escort them to a point where they feel comfortable with directions given.
  9. Extend Courtesy - We are here for one reason, and that is to provide the ultimate guest experience. Always go out of your way to extend common courtesy.
  10. Let Your Personality Show - You were hired for your charisma and personality. We want you to use these great traits. Guests thoroughly enjoy being part of an environment where associates can be themselves and at the same time act as professionals.
  11. Have Some Fun - Do whatever you can to create a pleasurable environment where your actions ensure our guests leave the hotel with a positive memory and in anticipation of a return visit.

Ms. Ahden Busch closed the talk, thanking Mr. Stevenson for the breakfast, and suggesting that we all incorporate these principals in our roles as executives. Be hands on, roll up your shirt sleeves, and get involved at every level. True excellence in customer service is a team effort.