Good customer service – what is it and what does it feel like?

Hallo everyone!

Some of you already know that I was lucky to have had the most amazing holiday with my husband in New Zealand earlier this year.

We were in Auckland for a week, and then we spent the next week and a bit travelling around Northland, which is (perhaps unsurprisingly) the northernmost region of New Zealand.

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Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

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Seaweed on Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

Seaweed on Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

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Sunset at Pukenui. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

Sunset at Pukenui, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

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New Zealand, as you can see, is an incredibly beautiful country. The sense of space, particularly of large stretches of uninhabited space, and of being close to nature is very familiar for anyone who has travelled around Scotland. As is the contrast between two very different cultures, one modern and one with much more ancient roots.

On our last day, we took the ferry from Auckland to Waiheke Island. We spent a few hours lying on Oneroa beach in the late summer sunshine, then visited a nearby vineyard for a wine tasting before heading back to Oneroa for dinner.

After spending some time wandering around, peering into various restaurants and scrutinising the different menus, we eventually decided on the Oyster Inn as we loved the location (it overlooks the beach), and the menu seemed delicious.

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Exterior

Image courtesy of The Oyster Inn

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We were given a warm welcome in a restaurant that was obviously the pride and joy of the owner and of everyone who worked there. We were offered our choice of tables: inside the restaurant, or outside on the first floor balcony.

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Restaurant Looking East-1

Image courtesy of The Oyster Inn

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The Deck

Image courtesy of The Oyster Inn

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Our dinner was wonderful! The wine we drank came from one of the local vineyards on Waiheke Island (a merlot named ‘Faithful’ from Stonyridge Vineyard); and our waiter enjoyed taking the time to explain that the wine had been named after the vineyard’s much-loved black Labrador. Our food was delicious, cooked to perfection, beautifully presented, and showcased some fabulous local ingredients. We left feeling full, slightly tipsy, happy, feeling that we had been well looked after and that our custom had been very much appreciated.

Andrew, from the Oyster Inn, explains their philosophy: ‘Excellent customer service has to come from the heart. It requires personal touches and going the extra mile. It means being well-informed to the customer, knowledgeable, helpful. A warm smile is integral to good customer service; even the smallest of mistakes can be solved with an apology and a warm smile.’

So there it is, in a nutshell: the best customer service requires heart and soul, expertise, meticulous attention to detail, consistency, imagination and creativity, pride in what you have created and a willingness, and openness, to share all of this with others.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the Oyster Inn has just been included in Cuisine Magazine ‘Best Restaurant 2013’ list and Travel and Leisure has included the small boutique hotel there as one of the best new hotels of 2013.

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The Oyster Inn

124 Ocean View Road

Oneroa, Waiheke Island

Auckland, New Zealand

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Online

The Oyster Inn

The Oyster Inn on Facebook

The Oyster Inn on Twitter

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