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From Day Hotel to Hotel - not such a big change

As Well House Consultants adds accommodation to its range of services, you might be thinking we're making a big change ...

NOT QUITE SO DIVERSE

Did I tell you about my favourite seafood restaurant? It was in Ottawa, Canada. Fabulous fresh fish; you had to get down there early even on the most bitterly cold of winter nights if you wanted a table - and a modest looking little place it was too.

Do you know how far Ottawa is from the sea? It's a l-o-n-g way.

I'll give you the inside story. An entrepreneur set up an airline to fly between Ottawa and the Newfoundland coast, and was very successful in getting passenger traffic, and good traffic out to the coast too. But his freight hold was near-empty on the way back. What would have been one man's loss became this guy's opportunity; he filled his planes with fresh fish, he bought into a restaurant, to the mutual benefit of both. On the face of it, quite a step change. But behind the scenes, a logical development.

We're a training company. We're into specialist technologies and our strong hand relates to markets that others don't care to service because the customers are so thinly spread. Some 80% of our customers don't come from the immediate area and as a result we've become very much what I would describe as a "day hotel" or conference and event centre. Questions about what to do in the evening and about onward travel plans are run of the mill, and we're very used to providing customer service.

So although it might seem that we're having a whole new start with Well House Manor, in fact it's a natural development of what we've been doing anyway. Just as an airline company naturally became a restauranteur, so we'll naturally become a hotelier. That's not to say that some things won't change as we move from being a "day hotel" to being a hotel.

KING CUSTOMER

"The Customer is King". So says a sale training poster that I was very familiar with in my younger days. With a big picture of a magnificent, maned lion. It applied then and it applies now. Even in our current day-hotel mode of operation, you'll see us looking after customers, and prospective customers even if we would rather be doing something else. Today's prospect is tomorrow's customer ... who pays our salary on Friday and recommends us to his friends on Sunday so that they're all our prospects on Monday and customers by this time next week and the business thrives.

It's something that I stress, and I push; you'll have seen me encouraging the whole team to engage positively with customers. Have you even been in a shop where the girl on the checkout pauses only briefly in her conversation with her friend to tell you how much you owe, then resumes the conversation while you get your money out. It's rude and it's not the sort of way that we work at Well House Consultants; anyone who is not happy to engage with customers, not happy to provide the service they request really doesn't fit in too well and can only have a limited role.

Yesterday, Lisa started an intermediate food hygiene course. The organisers had cancelled my course, had postponed Lisa's course by a week, and even then the presenter couldn't be with the class until 11 a.m. All in all, a pretty poor show and one that I would be ashamed of if it was under the "Well House" brand. And yet ... all was forgiven. The tutor was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and held her audience. There's a lesson / a moral here.

Yes, the customer is king. But, have a friendly and understanding approach and we'll find, time and again that the apparently ferocious king of the jungle turns out to be a soft pussy cat. Not frightening at all as you get to know each individual. And great fun to work with.

AN EXCITING FUTURE

So, "Well House Consultants" is moving, logically, on from being a daytime customer service company to being a 24 x 7 customer service company. And with the same customer base and other customers of the same type. It's exciting, but it's not quite as dramatic as it might at first appear.

As we settle into the new style of things, there are going to be issues that crop up and we need to explore and resolve quickly and efficiently. We need to ensure that we put on a good, professional face - probably more so that we have ever done in the past, as we'll be spending far less time with visitors who are only hotel guests and fleeting impressions will count that much more.

And we need to ensure, as we settle in, that everyone on the team is happy with what they're doing, is glad to be taking the responsibilities that they have on their plate. I'm sure we'll be growing, staff wise, a little further over the next few months. You, our current team, have a golden opportunity to mould your role to one that you can enjoy and to take on only the commitments that you're comfortable to give.



See also Well House Manor - booking pages

Please note that articles in this section of our web site were current and correct to the best of our ability when published, but by the nature of our business may go out of date quite quickly. The quoting of a price, contract term or any other information in this area of our website is NOT an offer to supply now on those terms - please check back via our main web site

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Solutions centre home page

You'll find shorter technical items at The Horse's Mouth and delegate's questions answered at the Opentalk forum.

At Well House Consultants, we provide training courses on subjects such as Ruby, Lua, Perl, Python, Linux, C, C++, Tcl/Tk, Tomcat, PHP and MySQL. We're asked (and answer) many questions, and answers to those which are of general interest are published in this area of our site.

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