“All the Team has this exuberating energy and a willingness to help. You never hear a No, anything is possible and everything is fun.”
Hament Chavda shares his experience on Lady Elliot Island in August 2013.
In 2009 I came across this gem of an Island by chance whilst searching for coral islands which may be similar to the Maldives, that offer snorkeling off the shore. I signed up to the Lady Elliot Island newsletter and was repeatedly mesmerized by the updates from the island swimming with Mantas and turtles, oh – and the beauty of nature to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday. Okay, I live in Perth so perhaps this should read – escape the pointers off shore!
Notice my first interaction with the ‘business’ was four years prior to actually purchasing a product…
My second interaction was with Reservations. Helpful is a little understatement, and I called them a few times to talk about anything from temperature of the water, airport parking, food preferences, luggage allowance. Each time whoever I spoke to were more then happy to help and assist with our questions. In fact on booking, my credit card had been maxed out after paying for all the flights etc and she was happy to take a $500 deposit and take payment a few days later once I transferred funds etc, this was outside their terms of payment but as a customer I was treated like one.
My third interaction, reflective of today’s shoppers was reading comments about the island from visitors, primarily trip advisor website. The reviews were positive and any negative comments were quickly responded in a genuine caring manner. We all know the difference between honest service recovery and just trying to make excuses to cover up bad service.
After an arduous journey from Perth to Brisbane and then a 3.5 hour drive to Hervey Bay the next morning with four girls including the wife we are greeted by a mature cheerful pilot enthusiastic to show us the whales and dolphins on our flight to the island.
On arrival the accommodation would be classed as average yet comfortable, its not 5 Star as we know it but when we look past the niceties and take in the priceless beauty of this natural island you begin to forget about the artificial comforts and tap into the rejuvenating energy of nature.
But then bad service, poor food and yes sir no sir I’m here for a pay check would ruin this experience. However, like in every story there was a moment of tragedy when my daughter brushed her foot on some coral negating the advice to wear flippers and never expecting to go into the shallow clear water to be lured by a magical creature (turtle).
Our visit to reception was greeted with genuine care and affection and offered a iodine wipe to clean the minor cut as she listened to my daughter telling her amazing story about touching a turtle even though she had heard it probably every day from countless guests who shared the same excitement, a place where the adults let go of their ego and bring out the kid in them in moments of awe inspired by mantas, humpback whales and endless array of colorful fish, turtles, sea birds, sea eagles soaring high in the sky topped by the stars in the sky shining brighter then the city lights – no where to be seen!
I see the Island Chief, a happy content bursting with energy sort of fellow, greeting guests at every opportunity. One minute he is taking the tray into the kitchen the next he is in the dive shop, the glass bottom boat or the landing strip diffusing his infectious smile to arriving and departing guests.
The entire team was a reflection of the chief’s values, customer service with a smile and never a no for an answer. In the dive shop we were greeted with helpful hints and advice about the reef and equipment even the kids were warmly looked after, nothing was any trouble. The guest relations / tour guides were equally passionate and excited with each tour and expedition they lead even the daily fish feeding was kept to a champagne popping high standard. They even took photos of me snorkeling and volunteered to email them to me! Wow that’s what I call Exceptional Service!
All the Team has this exuberating energy and a willingness to help. You never hear a No, anything is possible and everything is fun.
And then our last day arrived, we wish we stayed longer and then Just before departing the chief organized a quick back of house tour to show us the eco islands desalination plant and solar power station.
My only recommendation would be a Spa to ease away the muscles after all the tempting snorkeling, diving, volley ball, table tennis, coconut bowling, Island Bingo and numerous activities on offer.
Thank you Nathan, Emma, Kim, Chris in the dive shop, Island Chief Andreas and the lovely girl in reception Jessica!