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Satisfaction guaranteed

first_img Previous Article Next Article Satisfaction guaranteedOn 1 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. WhitbreadTravel Inns gambled on a customer service scheme – and won. Lucie CarringtonreportsStaffat Whitbread Travel Inns, and probably some customers too, thought managementhad gone mad when the firm announced that customers who weren’t 100 per centsatisfied with their stay could have their money back.TravelInns introduced its 100 per cent Satisfaction Guarantee a year ago.”People said we would go bust and customers would cheat us,” saysStuart Branch, personnel manager with responsibility for training anddevelopment at the hotel chain.Butit was not a moment of insanity, Branch insists. It was a sound businessdecision based on the need to hold on to market share. “Travel Inns isgrowing and expanding ahead of the competition, but there is a projected marketsaturation point we will meet in a few years time,” he says.”Theguarantee is about saying we want customers to trust us more than they do ourcompetitors. They can trust us for a good quality room, friendly service and agood night’s sleep. And if they’re not satisfied that they have got that, thenthey don’t have to pay.”TravelInns recognised the guarantee would involve a massive training programme forall 7,000 staff in its 280 hotels, and Branch set to work in December 1999.Ratherthan the training professionals deciding how training should be delivered, theyhanded the problem back to the guarantee implementation group which includedgeneral managers, departmental managers, lead receptionists and some teammembers. “Wesaid to the group, this is what we need to train for, so you tell us how bestto do it. They wanted something that was fun, could be delivered in shortbursts and could be adapted to suit the different functions in the hotel,”Branch explains.Workingwith training firm Merlin Development Group, Branch and his colleagues came upwith a 10 steps approach. The steps were designed to explain the vision behindthe guarantee and included issues such as understanding the guarantee,preventive action, talking to customers, the refund process and service qualitybehaviour. Strictly speaking it was not customer care training, Branch says,”but there was a recognition that doing this training would remind peopleof the brand standards and re-energise those standards.”Apartfrom involving managers and frontline staff so directly, there was nothingparticularly remarkable about the training delivery. Like many mass traininginitiatives it involved training managers and trainers who then deliver thegoods on the ground. As a result, 540 people were trained as trainers duringthe summer of 2000. They returned to their units and between October 2000 andJanuary 2001 trained the remaining 7,000 staff.Whatis unusual is that it seems to have worked so well. The key aim of the trainingwas to help staff understand that the guarantee was not going to result incustomers ripping them off, Branch says, but would enhance their customerservice.Naturally,there was a certain amount of apprehension. For example, some staff wanted alist of complaints that could invoke the guarantee. This completely missed thepoint of the guarantee, Branch says. “It’s up to customers to decidewhether or not they are satisfied. So rather than focus on the fraction ofpeople who might cheat the system, we encourage staff to think ‘should thecustomer pay that price if they have had that problem?’”Branchis particularly proud of the fact that 60 per cent of guarantee payouts havebeen offered to customers by staff rather than requested. “It shows thetraining achieved what we wanted: awareness of the guarantee, ownership of itand winning staff over.”Heinsists the guarantee is not really about giving customers refunds. “It’sabout creating processes that make it easier for customers to tell us why wedid not make the grade and having mechanisms within the organisation to addressthose issues,” he says.Forexample, as a result of the guarantee Travel Inns has discovered that hotelsthat have been extended often don’t have sufficient power to keep the waterhot. They discovered this because enough customers invoked the guarantee whentheir showers went cold; and they have now put the problem right.Guaranteetraining is now an integral part of the induction programme and individualhotels have introduced additional learning on site. JonHilton, Euston Travel Inn manager in London has introduced ‘100 per centchampions’ – members of staff, nominated by their peers or managers, who haveshown a real understanding of or commitment to the guarantee. So far there aresix.Hiltonhas also set up a monthly guarantee forum to discuss any issues raised as aresult of the guarantee.Hehas no doubts about the value of the guarantee. “Previously, if thecustomer had a serious problem it was felt that only the manager could dealwith it. Now everyone in the hotel deals with customer care and it’s certainlymade my life easier.”Factsand figuresSix steps to satisfaction-LaunchedJanuary 2001-12,700customers have asked for their money back-£500,000paid back to guestsThis is equivalent to 0.39 per cent of room revenue–Complaints to head office halved from 1,500 to 647–Customer satisfaction rates have risen: 56 per cent of customers who complainsay they would stay with Travel Inn again compared with 26 per cent in 1999–Staff turnover has gone down from 76 per cent to 5 per cent Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Prep work

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaWhile the summer heat may have cooled to an occasional sizzle, chances are it’s left its mark on your yard. With wilted flowers and burned annuals filling flowerbeds, sprinting past your garden and hiding in your house may be tempting.There are other options.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent Amanda Tedrow says now is the best time to plant winter annuals, bulbs, shrubs and trees, add mulch and test your soil.“It’s just a good time for general maintenance around the yard. This is the time to do everything you avoided earlier in the year such as picking up the leaves and getting any other debris out of your yard,” she said.Here is a short list of fall tasks to get your garden and your yard ready for winter and ready for next summer, too.• Dig a hole. “It is the best time to plant shrubs and trees,” Tedrow said. “They have all winter to establish roots and become acclimated to your soil. They can handle summer temperatures better than if they were planted in the spring.” Plant them before the first hard freeze for better root development. If planted later, they could be more susceptible to cold damage and soil heaving from the ground freezing, thawing and refreezing.Make sure to pay attention to the planting directions on your trees and shrubs. “We had a shrub brought into our office that had been planted too deep in the middle of winter,” she said. “The freezing and thawing of the soil pulled and cracked some of the bark off of the base of the shrub. The damaged shrub was not able to survive our hot, dry summer.” • Bag dirt. “It’s a good time to do your soil samples, as most gardeners aren’t as active in the yard” this time of year, she said. “Go ahead and amend it before you plant your spring garden.”• Mind your mulch. “If you don’t have a good layer of mulch down, it’s a good time to put it down,” she said. “The type of mulch you use depends on your personal preference and how you would prefer it to look. Some people like pine straw, others like pine bark or hardwood mulch.”Not only will mulch help keep moisture in the soil, it will also help regulate the soil temperature better, keeping plant roots warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.• Add fresh color. Whether you plant annuals or perennials, Tedrow has her favorites of each. For winter annuals, she suggests pansies, snapdragons, poppies, cabbages, kale and dusty miller. Perennials that can be planted in the fall include Lenten rose and shrubs such as camellias. • Prune perennials. Herbaceous perennials – the ones that die back in the winter and pop up again in the spring – can be pruned after they have gone dormant. These include numerous herbs, daylilies, black-eyed Susans, coneflowers in addition to many others.• Grow a garden. Good fall vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, brussel sprouts, beets, carrots, onions, radishes, lettuces and greens such as kale, mustard, turnip and collard. Others are Swiss chard, radicchio, asparagus, Chinese cabbage, and kohlrabi.• Prepare for spring. “Plant bulbs for your spring blooms,” Tedrow said. “If you want them to bloom in the late winter, you should go ahead and plant them now.” Bulbs should be bought fresh yearly and then planted that year. “Most spring flowering bulbs are pretty hardy, but only to a certain extent; they can’t survive for months on end in the bags you can purchase at the store.”last_img read more

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Keck workers present letter for strike

first_imgA delegation of Keck healthcare workers, National Union of Healthcare Workers representatives and USC students presented a letter addressed to the University President C. L. Max Nikias on Feb. 8, informing him that 900 members of the NUHW will conduct a strike at Keck School of Medicine of USC, in addition to requesting his help in bringing the protracted contract negotiations between Keck and the NUHW workers to a close.The delegation gathered outside the Bovard Administration Building and then proceeded to Nikias’ office, whereupon they were halted outside the building and directed to the Senior Vice President for Administration Todd R. Dickey’s office to deliver the letter. The letter was left in the care of the front desk secretary. When the delegation asked to speak with someone from the administration, they were told that there was no one available and that somebody would get back to them in the future.The letter was signed by a number of community members and interest groups, including the Coalition Resistance LA, the Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation and a number of reverends and rabbis from surrounding religious institutions. It mentioned fair compensation for work and the role of USC in providing an adequate standard of living for its employees and spur “economic development, enhance family stability,and address income inequality.”“We are not asking for much. We are just asking for the same benefits that anybody working for USC has,” said Keck healthcare worker Herbert Palacios.Nine hundred NUHW workers plan to strike Feb. 10 at Keck.“With respect to the work stoppage by Keck employees, we can emphatically say that our organization continues to offer competitive benefits packages that attract top talent” Keck said in a statement regarding the strike Feb. 10.last_img read more

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Seven Summits Drolet edges Trafalgar’s Waterfall for Salmo Cross Country title

first_img 8 Boundary 18:43 9 Sophie SR 12 9 Emily Ritter-Riegling 17:47 Katerina Mount Sentinal PCSS 8 Hope Donovon 11 Rossland Summit School 18:10 Jodi Surina Bethany Pardoe JVH Jade Fossen 9 11 Reese 21:01 LVR 11 Erickson 7 24:54 21:09 21:23 LVR Katelyn Wiens 27:14 20:05 34:31 Gabi Gauvreau 19:59 LVR Jenna Nims Mount Sentinal PCSS 22:54 10 20:51 22:17 Taylor Mailhot JR 11 19:50 Mount Sentinal Alisha George 20:08 20:18 18:10 JR Shannon Rausch Adele Fossen Hannah Harper The race attracted more than 100 runners from schools in the Kootenay and Boundary areas.”Absolutely awesome to see all the enthusiastic youth out to enjoy the trails and race,” said Sacha Kalabis of Salmo Secondary.”In total we had approximately 88 males and females in the junior/senior race and 19 runners in the elementary race.”The circuit is gearing up for the West Kootenay Zones October 25th hosted by L.V. Rogers.The top runners advance to the BC High School Cross Country Championships in Saturday, November 5 in Peachland.The race results for Salmo: 20:21 JR Trafalgar 18:35 Erickson Wildflower 22:32 Seven Summits 22:38 Matilda Salewich Jenna 7 Emile Taylor 8 20:32 Carmen Lewandowski 23:19center_img Maryn Wikn 7 20:19 Erickson LVR JR Jasper Mair 25:36 Salmo Erickson PCSS 20:03 34:34 21:35 27:14 Boundary Talia Symington-Krus PCSS Boundary Ashlyn Yanin Julia Burkart 22:54 19:49 10 10 PCSS ARES 6 Mount Sentinal 17:19 Trafalgar Boundary Makenna Terrill Zoe Taylor 25:37 Daniella Strois Brynn Mailot PCSS SR JR Brooke Bergman 8 Mount Sentinal Boundary Avie Waterfall Rossland Summit School McKenzie Vayro 9 PCSS Narayani Shapovalova 18:34 Antonia Bergandahl Faith Zitko Charlotte Gibson Mikayla Bergman Boundary 10 Jasmine Drolet 20:40 Natalya Tremblay Boundary 27:01 LVR 26:53 Raya Terrin 19:12 Jasmine Drolet of Rossland’s Seven Summits Centre for Learning edged out Avie Waterfall of Trafalgar in Nelson to capture the top prize at the West Kootenay High School Cross Country race Tuesday at the Salmo Ski Hill.The race was hosted by Salmo Secondary School.Drolet finished the race in a time of seventeen minutes, 19 seconds, 28 seconds ahead of Waterfall.Julia Burkart and Sophie Edneyof L.V. Rogers finished tied for third at 18:10.Jodie Surina of J.V. Humphries of Kaslo, Emile Taylor of LVR, Makenna Terrill of Prince Charles in Creston, Charlotte Gibson of J. Lloyd Crowe in Trail and Mikayla Bergman of LVR rounded out the top ten. Rossland Summit School JL Crowe 21:08 Olivia Baia Salmo 23:18 Daisy Chevalier 11 Trafalgar 27:10last_img read more

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Cyclist treated for minor injuries after accident near Manorcunningham

first_imgA cyclist has been treated by ambulance staff at the side of the main road between Mannorcunningham and Letterkenny this afternoon. The cyclist collided with a parked vehicle on the main road on Wednesday.Their injuries are not life-threatening, according to Gardaí. Motorists are advised to expect delaysCyclist treated for minor injuries after accident near Manorcunningham was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Africa’s hotel room numbers surge

first_img13 April 2016The number of planned hotel rooms in Africa has soared to 64 000 in 365 hotels, up almost 30% on the previous year, according to figures from the annual W Hospitality Group Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey, published on 11 April.The number of planned hotel rooms in Africa has soared to 64 000 in 365 hotels, up almost 30% on the previous year, according to survey.— Fin24 (@Fin24) April 12, 2016The increase was largely the result of strong growth in sub-Saharan Africa, which was up 42.1% on 2015 and was significantly outstripping North Africa, which achieved only a modest 7.5% pipeline increase this year, the survey found.In a major shake-up in the rankings by country, Angola, never before listed in the top 10, pushed Egypt out of second place, as a result of a major deal there signed by AccorHotels.The W Hospitality Group survey is published ahead of the African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF). The conference attracts all the major international hotel investors in Africa and is being held for the first time in Lome, in Togo on 21 and 22 June. A second AHIF will take place in Kigali, in Rwanda from 4 to 6 October.“The evidence from our survey is clear – investors remain confident about the future of the hospitality industry on the continent,” said Trevor Ward, W Hospitality Group managing director. “Even when pummelled daily by low commodity prices, exchange rate problems, political challenges and poor infrastructure, Africa remains resilient.”The International Monetary Fund forecast for economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is for an increase of 4% this year and 4.7% in 2017, up from 3.5% in 2015, according to a press release from conference organisers Bench Events. “Overall this is down on the 5% to 6% increase enjoyed over the past decade, but it’s still double or more the forecast for the world’s advanced economies, such as Europe, the USA and Japan.”“Africa is still on the up. For business, trade and capital investment, the continent remains an attractive proposition, leading to continuing demand for accommodation and other hospitality services,” said Matthew Weihs, managing director of Bench Events.Detailed analysisThis is the eighth annual pipeline survey, which looks at hotel industry growth in Africa, particularly international chains signing new deals. The 2016 survey provides a full picture of hotel development across the continent – 36 hotel chains and 86 brands with more than 64 000 rooms in 365 hotels.The inaugural survey was completed in 2009. In that year, there were 19 international and regional hotel chains contributing, with a pipeline of 144 hotels and just under 30 000 rooms.Angola dominated the 2016 report. In July 2015, AccorHotels signed with AAA Activos LDA for the management of 50 hotels with about 6 200 rooms. All were under construction and many were ready to open, according to the survey.Across the continent, the north-south divide on hotel development continued. In 2011, the number of pipeline rooms in the five countries of North Africa was about 25% higher than that in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, it was less than half.“There are two reasons why development activity in North Africa is now somewhat subdued,” Ward explained. “Firstly, the markets there are more mature and have already seen much development, so there are fewer opportunities for new hotels. Secondly, there is the political turmoil – in Libya, which has seen a 40% drop in the pipeline, and also Egypt, parts of which are experiencing drastic reductions in the number of tourists.”Nigeria remained the country with the most rooms in the pipeline, up 20% on 2015. Together with Angola, the two countries accounted for 17 782 rooms, almost 30% of the total pipeline and 40% of the signed rooms in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa came in ninth, with 2 058 rooms and 11 hotels in the pipeline.Source: Africa- Newsroom.comlast_img read more

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Music Showcase: Royalty Free Music for YouTube Videos

first_imgAvoid copyright issues by using royalty free music in your online videos. Check out these handpicked tracks for your next YouTube or Vimeo project!Creating an online video? You’ll need music. But word of warning – you can’t just use any track you want.YouTube has become increasingly more aggressive over the last few years in protecting the copyrights of commercial music. If you use a copyrighted track in your YouTube video without permission/licensing, at the very least ads will run next to your video. Even worse, your video may be removed from YouTube altogether. Proper licensing of a commercial track is time intensive – and often prohibitively expensive.That’s where royalty free music and Premiumbeat come in. By licensing music from your YouTube videos can run ad-free. Our Standard License covers ALL online usage – and allows you to use the same track in multiple videos FOREVER, without any additional fees.In this post, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite royalty free tracks from our team of world-class composers. For your convenience, we’ve divvied them up into two common types of online videos: 1) Music for Corporate & Product Explainer Videos  and 2) Music for Film and Movie Trailers.Have a listen below or click the ‘Buy’ links to license a track for your next project!Corporate videos can be engaging – with the right content and music. Here are a few of our favorite royalty free music that would go well in an industrial or corporate video, production demonstration video or company presentation:last_img read more

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GALLERY: LeBron James Strive for Greatness Tour Manila

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:22Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax01:20US Defense chief Mark Esper visits Manila American Cemetery for wreath-laying ceremony01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonINQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon MOST READ LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutcenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Pride and joy WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Read Next For the third time in five years, LeBron James gave his Filipino fans another night to remember during his Strive for Greatness Tour 2017 Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.READ: LeBron puts on show for ‘unbelievable’ PH fans, vows to come backADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Still the King

first_imgLATEST STORIES Belying his 35 years, Nietes lived up to his moniker (Snake), striking and wobbling Reveco near the end of the sixth round before lunging for the kill with a hard right, three body punches and a lethal left in the seventh.The 34-year-old Reveco fell, staggered to beat the count, but was spared further punishment when his corner called the lopsided bout off at the 53-second mark.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAfter an uninterrupted reign of over a decade in three weight classes, Nietes finally proved that he’s indeed an elite fighter worthy of bigger, juicier pay-per-view bouts.No wonder, the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental and torchbearer of Ala Promotions, sounded ecstatic after the victory that raised his record to 41-1-4 with 23 knockouts. MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:31Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Viloria’s woes were compounded when he sustained a bloody cut on the left forehead caused by Dalakian’s wayward elbow in the 11th round.Now 37, Viloria skidded to 38-6, 23 knockouts.Dalakian stretched his win run to 16 with 11 knockouts. —ROY LUARCA Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving “Not only did I keep my title, I knocked my opponent out,” Nietes, who last tasted defeat in 2004, said in Filipino.In handing Reveco a fourth loss against 39 wins, Nietes lined himself up for a possible clash with Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who kept his World Boxing Council super flyweight title by majority decision over Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada in the headliner of the event shown by HBO.Nietes said he is also looking at either Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez or Estrada for his next fight.While Nietes’ career gained luster, that of Filipino-American Brian Viloria dimmed further.The bloodied “Hawaiian Punch” yielded to the younger Artem Dalakian of Ukraine in their battle for the vacant World Boxing Association flyweight tile by unanimous decision, 118-109 thrice.ADVERTISEMENT Vargas reaches out to Peping LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico AFP official booed out of forum Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus There’s plenty of venom and power left in Donnie “Ahas” Nietes to instill fear among his peers.Fighting before a global audience for the first time, Nietes knocked out Argentine Juan Carlos Reveco on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to retain the International Boxing Federation flyweight crown in SuperFly 2 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more