Earlier this year Hornblower created Quality Quest, a customer service training program for all the members of the Hornblower family. The goal, or Our Voyage, as we call it, is to Create Amazing Experiences. As part of the program, managers share Amazing Experiences with one another and we’re heard tales of bravery, of resolution and exemplary hospitality. Many of the stories come from our guests following their experience. They will write or call with high praise for the individual or team that made their experience memorable. This Amazing Experience was shared at a recent meeting:
At our Alcatraz Cruises operation in San Francisco we frequently allow people who need assistance to board the vessels first, similar to airlines. We ask those individuals to stand to the side so that we can easily escort them down the gangway. One day over the summer, a woman stood in the pre-boarding area and a deckhand struck up a conversation with her while they waited to board. They chatted about San Francisco, the wacky summer weather and the Alcatraz experience. As the deckhand escorted her a seat on the boat she expressed some concern about not being able to walk to cell house. The deckhand explained that there was a tram designed to help people who have mobility challenges and he would assist her there. The deckhand finished his departure duties and returned to talk to the woman during the short ferry ride to the island. Once they arrived he escorted her off the island and to the tram where he wished her an excellent visit and returned to the vessel.
Later that afternoon the woman happened to return to San Francisco on the same deckhand’s vessel where he again helped her to a seat and she shared with him her joy at visiting Alcatraz. Once back in San Francisco he helped her off the vessel and sent her on her way to enjoy the city.
A few weeks ago a different woman arrived at Alcatraz Landing asking for the deckhand by name. She explained that her mother had visited Alcatraz over the summer and that this deckhand had gone out of his way to assist her during her visit. She went on to explain that her mother had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and that visiting Alcatraz was on her bucket list of activities. The woman had shared with her family her joy at visiting Alcatraz and how touched she had been with the kindness shown her by the deckhand and other crew members. The woman went on to say that her mother had recently passed away, but that her story of Alcatraz and the happiness it brought her had given her family members a sense of peace.
This story reminded us that our jobs here are to create amazing experiences for all our guests, regardless of their (or our) expectations. To some an amazing experience would be a carefully choreographed fireworks show to cap off an evening wedding, to others, it’s a kind work and helping hand.
As we enter the holiday season, we give thanks for our families and friends and from the Hornblower family we wish for everyone a happy holiday season.