Wanderings, travel, photographs and skiing…

The Crystal Ski Reps of Niederau, Austria

By on January 10, 2015 in Austria

What did the Crystal Ski reps in Niederau do for me on this trip? What value did they add?

Well, the transfer from Innsbruck to Niederau was well organised, and the return transfer worked without any problems (it was exceedingly uncomfortable, but that was not the fault of the rep). However, in-resort they really added nothing.

The resort briefing happened 24 hours after we arrived, and was almost conducted on a one-to-one basis. This is not very efficient and I know different people got different information. Plus, as we were in a big hotel, with guests travelling with many different ski companies, I never got to meet my fellow Crystal Ski travellers.

The rep never sought me out during the week to check how things were going. Yes, we had a number for emergencies but there was no general ‘base-touch’ just to check. In fact, I saw our hotel rep in a local bar more often than I saw her in the hotel. Considering I was a solo skier I thought this was particularly poor.

The quality of ‘repping’ was capped off on my last but one evening when I came down to dinner to find another guest leaving-details in my place. I never did receive my departure details and finally found them out by asking the hotel staff.

In contrast, the staff of the hotel, who were nothing to do with Crystal Ski, were excellent. They were helpful and friendly and basically saved the holiday on the ‘customer interaction’ side of things.

How the reps could improve

  1. Seek out your clients and interact with them – don’t expect them to come to you.
  2. Brief all clients in one session so as to avoid errors in information (there is an excellent John Cleese training video covering this).
  3. Make sure clients have the information (particularly important information such as departure times) they need.
  4. Touch base with clients to check things are OK – be proactive!
  5. Assist New arrivals on their first night – take them to pick up skis and not just say ‘over there’ and point into the darkness.
  6. Help customers with bags on and off buses.
  7. Offer guiding and assistance around the mountains (I know this can be tricky and sine resorts have clamped down on it, but it can be done).

The above may seem trivial, but these little things can make a big difference and I know from experience that other ski companies do things that way.

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
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