Friday, 26 July 2013

Service Excellence Award Winners - Jeni Harvie and Gary Wall

The Anchor Bay Motel's Jeni Harvie and Gary Wall  entered the Shoalhaven Business Excellence Awards for the first time last year and took out the Service Excellence category with their thoughtful and consistent approach to running their motel.

Can you briefly describe your business?

The Anchor Bay Motel is a 12-room motel overlooking the Shoalhaven River in Greenwell Point. It provides three levels of accommodation: Standard, Deluxe and Waterfront Suites. We primarily cater for couples, trades people and business executives seeking a quiet place to relax and recharge.
What made you decide to enter the Shoalhaven Business Awards in 2012?
Over the previous five years, we had built the business substantially, tripling our turnover and occupancy. We had many repeat customers and our reviews were excellent. We were seeking an independent assessment of our efforts and wanted to see how we compared with our peers. We also thought the awards would raise Greenwell Point’s profile in the local area. The township is just a wee dot on the Shoalhaven map and many people don’t realise how picturesque and tranquil it is. The awards offered us the opportunity to gain some very positive publicity.

What did you learn about your business or industry from the process of entering the awards?

The questions asked as part of entering the awards focused our attention on the business operation. As we worked through the questions, we realised how far we had progressed and how comprehensively we had adapted to a changing environment, particularly the internet. We embraced online marketing early and this has proved to be our lifeline in a very competitive industry.


Could you outline some of the positive outcomes from having entered the Business Awards?

By entering the awards, we were forced to review our business and take stock of the entire operation. We had to describe the business, outline our achievements, reflect on our progress and discuss our vision for the future. We had never done this before and it proved a healthy and satisfying process which gave us a real insight into our product.

We were named as a finalist in three categories and ultimately won the Service Excellence award. This was very gratifying and provided great publicity for our business and the village of Greenwell Point.

It was also wonderful to meet the award judges, all of whom are professional people who passionately believe in the Shoalhaven region and promoting business excellence. Interacting with them was an inspiration in itself.  

"Our approach to customer service: Greet every guest with a smile and cheerful greeting, inquire about their day, give them a Cartoscope map and information about where to go for a meal/walk/fish/bike ride etc. We book them into restaurants, cruises, other motels (if we are booked out), order the courtesy bus. On departure, we help them plan their trip and  suggest places of interest along the way. If there is a problem, we resolve it quickly, almost always in the cusomer's favour."

What advice would you give someone who was considering entering this year?

Don’t hesitate! It is a very worthwhile process. Read the questions carefully and answer them honestly and comprehensively. Don’t hesitate to sing your own praises. You must be proud of what you are doing and have the confidence to promote your product. Not everyone can be a winner, but you learn a lot about your business along the way and the judges are encouraging and supportive. They may even offer invaluable advice and are good contacts for future business needs.

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