It was recently reported in the news that a mother and her three children under five years old were denied access to a public aquatic facility, not managed by Belgravia Leisure. Click here to read more.
This example reminds us of the important role we all have to safeguard our customers and at the same time deliver an excellent customer experience. Our safety policies and safety programs such as Keep Watch and Watch Around Water help us provide a fun and safe environment for all guests. Challenging situations can arise where customers may lack an understanding of these important safety requirements.
This month is safety month, and we must remember to THINK SAFE, ACT SAFE and BE SAFE. There will be times where we must enforce important safety messages. Drawing on our CLEAR values, we can deliver good customer service at the same time as enforcing an important safety policy. Being patient, understanding, authentic and clear is the key to managing challenging situations with customers.
The H.E.A.T approach is helpful to role model the language and behaviours to lead challenging situations while showing empathy to the customer’s circumstance. It stands for:
H – Hear the customer out
E – Empathise, feel what they feel
A – Apologies authentically
T – Take Action, offer a solution
Let’s look at how we can use H.E.A.T in an example of one guardian who has brought three children under five years old to the venue for a swim.
H – Don’t interrupt the customer. Let the customer share the whole story. Actively listen.
E – Let them know you understand. “I can understand on a hot day like this you were looking forward to cooling off.”
A – Apologise and take the time to explain our policy. “Your family’s safety is our top priority, and I am very sorry to have to be the one to let you know about our guardian-child ratios, let me show you.”
T – Offer a Solution. “Is there anyone that may be able to come in? A friend or family member? If you wanted to wait in the lounge area or café, we would be more than happy to provide free icy poles while you wait. Is there anything else that you think we can do to help?”
As you reflect on this scenario and others you may face this summer; we wanted to provide some additional resources that will help you keep the customer safe and at the centre of everything we do!
Please click below to view and download the GSPO Supervision Requirements and remember to THINK SAFE, ACT SAFE AND BE SAFE.