“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” ~ Walt Disney
I begin writing this week’s blog with a huge smile on my face. This week I get to brag about my oldest granddaughter, Misty, and share a letter from one of her customers. Misty is a lifeguard at Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels. I am so proud of Misty. This December she will graduate from Sam Houston State University (probably with honors) completing her degree in Criminal Justice in just 3 ½ years, while holding down 3 part time jobs. But this week, Misty sent my pride in her to a new level when she forwarded an email a customer sent to Schlitterbahn praising Misty’s customer service.
Schlitterbahn Water Park has long been heralded as the #1 water park in America. It appears Schlitterbahn is following the example set by Walt Disney to give customers an experience they will want to see again and bring their friends. The Park was Misty’s first job once she was old enough to work and she has continued to work there every summer. I’m really glad she has worked at a place that stresses outstanding customer service and going the extra mile. Here is the email Ms. Johnson from Ohio sent to Schlitterbahn.
Mr. Hill: My son is an avid amusement park fan, and we have traveled to many different parks (both amusement and water) over the years. After years of reading about Schlitterbahn in Amusement Today and seeing the accolades it receives, we had to find an opportunity to see it for ourselves. As such, we arranged for a little “detour” as we headed home to Ohio after moving him out of his college apartment in California. It was well worth the trip!
The Park was lovely — it was clean, the rides were fun, and the shows were great. What I am writing about now, however, is the staff. We have never met a group of employees more interested in genuinely making our visit enjoyable. We stopped lots of employees with questions, for advice, and general directions. In ALL cases, the employees went beyond the call of duty to make sure they could do whatever they could to assist us.
Misty — working in the Original Schlitterbahn – is one such individual I would like to highlight. We arrived at the old section of the Park with only 30 minutes until closing. We stopped and asked her how we could make the most of those thirty minutes as we had traveled from Ohio for a visit. She immediately gave us her advice on what two rides she thought were best considering the time — Downhill Racer and Whitewater. She did not stop there — she walked us over to Downhill Race. While my son was enjoying that ride, she went and secured a tube for Whitewater. As he hurried to the entrance, Misty helped me carry my belongings to the exit of Whitewater and talked to me about the Park. She mentioned she has been with the Park for 6 years and had lots of interesting details to share about the Park.
We ended the day in the gift shop. When I asked what time it closed, the employee cheerfully answered …”when our last customer is done shopping.” This was a pleasant surprise since most establishments chase you out as quickly as possible at closing time. After missing the last shuttle back to our car, another employee got someone on the radio and sent the shuttle back to pick us up — just us — no complaining, sighing or anything resembling frustration. Matter of fact, the driver entertained us with stories of his years at the Park.
My son and I have been recounting what a fabulous day we had at Schlitterbahn and how we enjoyed so many facets of the Park that we have read about over the years. The accolades are all well-deserved. Employees like Misty, however, are what make the customer’s experience so special and, I am sure, are what has earned the elite status the Park enjoys today.
I hope you will pass these comments along to Misty (and all employees) and thank her (again) from us. She is a valuable, genuine asset to the Park. We are hoping we will have an opportunity to come back again soon.
All the Best,
M… and A… Johnson
This is what customer service is all about – doing things that go above and beyond customer expectations. I also want to point out the staff at the gift shop. When asked about closing time, the response was, “When the last customer leaves.” I love this. I’ve never understood the mindset of wanting to close the door on a customer that wants to give you their business and their money.
Ask yourself this question – “What do I need to do to get a customer to write a letter like that about me?” Go do that!