Is there a place for professionalism?

I recently flew into Queenstown with my mountain bike for a seven day trip into Southland and around Central Otago. Part of the planning of the logistics for a trip such as this involves finding accommodation that will store a bike box (used for transporting the bike) for the duration of the trip.

The schedule  involved a night in Queenstown at the start, assembling the bikes, and another night at the end, with time to pack down the bikes. Finding an hotel or motel that would be prepared to store bike boxes for a week proved difficult. But the campground was willing. It’s a little like the rule of thumb for free wifi in hotels in the USA – the fancier and pricier the hotel, the less likely it is to have complimentary wifi. In this case the cheapest accommodation option was the most helpful in being prepared to store two bike boxes for a week.

But I digress – the bikes were assembled at the start of the trip, and the boxes  stored in the campground maintenance shed. Then seven days , much amazing South Island scenery and some massive hills and great trails later, we checked into the campground again. And here is what highlighted what a well run business that campground is.

The receptionist called the maintenance man on his portable radio and said “Our guests with the bike boxes in the maintenance shed have returned. Could you please bring the bike boxes for them?”

Contrast this with the numbers of supposedly “professional” organisations where I am called “mate”  ( n.b. very often I have never met the person before and certainly do not have any type of personal or convivial relationship with them). And the supposedly “professional” organisations that make commitments with regard to time that they never honour, and telephones they don’t bother to answer – but leave to a machine significantly dumber than Siri to tell me my call is valued.When it clearly is not, or they would have a person answer it.

The receptionist addressing a paying customers as a guest was not an isolated incident. Our observation was that this was consistent with the way the whole business was run , and undoubtedly comes from the top, and is transmitted through training. The business obviously is superbly run, and deserves success.

It is a pity that more businesses don’t pick up on the theme that professionalism and training really do pay. Doing the simple things well can have rewards in customer loyalty and more profitable clients.