National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards
Excellence in Customer Service
Waves Fitness & Aquatic Centre
Christine is a Customer Service Officer who came to the Facility from a successful career in community service. Last year, she gave up her career and moved into Baulkham Hills to provide full time care for her elderly Father. Shortly after, she dropped by her local facility and enquired about casual work.
The Hills Shire is an expanding demographic with an average population of over 45's. The area has changed dramatically over the past 3 years, with a 32% increase in non english speaking families. This rapid change in client placed a huge demand on the supervision, water education, as most new enquires had limited to no experiance with water ways. As the Hills only public pool, customer service experianced service levels never seen before, for lessons and casual swimming.
Chris is a passionate and caring employee who, as an older adult, has shown the patience and commitment to upholding the standards set by the organization and the facility.
At this stage, Chris hopes to continue to provide care for her father for as long as possible whilst continuing her training and development to be able to provide quality service to the members and guests of the WAVES Aquatic Centre.
What it means
This award would mean everything for Christine, as she has made huge sacrifices to commit to the role. It would be validation that the work she puts into Customer safety and service is recognized by the industry and appreciated by her employee.
It would go a long way to improving her confidence in herself and her value as the leader of Customer Service at WAVES.
Describe how the nominee has provided a contribution to their community / industry in Customer Service
Through her Customer Service Role, Chris has been at the face of safety water education for the changing face of the Hills. Despite huge challenges with difference in language and understanding, she has been able to ensure that all causal patrons are aware of the Royal Life Keep Watch Policy and enforce the entry requirements and supervision guidelines. Waves has maintained a Zero Major incident level for the summer, which can greatly be attributed to the hard work of Chris on the front desk.
She has been able to successfully control huge service demands and causal attendance from non-swimmers.
Describe (and provide evidence) of improvements and/or achievements made in Customer Service over the past 12-18 months
Prior to Chris commencing at waves, the Customer Service team struggled with Facility entry management. With over 1200 Learn to Swim Students and 300 plus Squad Students, The small entry containing one single turnstile is a busy and challenging environment. Students would run in and out unaccompanied for lessons as parents drop them off and then leave with a lack of understanding of the risks involved.
During her time at WAVES, Chris has been able to lead significant change in consumer awareness, actively preventing all children that are not accompanied from entering the facility, proactively educating the hundreds of parents on the risks associated with a lack of supervision and additionally, ensuring that all parents with children under 5 have the appropriate clothing and gear for swimming.
Her work in this space has lead to a dramatic increase in interest in swimming lessons, with Chris processing over 130 enrollments during January, a huge increase from monthly trends.
Her commitment to excellence has seen achievements in other areas including the performance of our lifeguard team and younger kiosk staff.
Describe how the nominee has shown commitment to aquatic safety through Customer Service
This leadership created a huge shift in the Culture of Customer service and the education of parents.
Despite extremely challenging situations, Christine persisted with the commitment to improving the standards at Waves and in the Hills. Chris goes above and beyond in her role to ensure water safety and her voice can often be heard over the Centre's PA systems with regular Keep Watch and water safety public announcements.
Christine is never without something to do and has become the face of the centre, always ready to help all, and always with a smile. She has become greatly appreciated and adored by all members of the Centre. Christine without a doubt has set the Standard of Customer Service In Aquatic Facilites.
Describe what barriers have been encountered by the nominee in Customer Service and how have they been overcome
The barriers for Christine have been extreme. To commit to changing the culture at a facility that is over 50 years old, took an immense amount of hard and thick skin. Christine has been the face of attacks, threats and never ending customer complaints from families that have been extremely uninformed to the dangers of public pools. Examples includes parents that want to drop young children off at the pool while they go and run errands, Parents who refuse to enter the water while children as young as 2 and 3 play in the 50 meter pool with only flotation devices to keep them safe.
Additionally to this, Christine has had to struggle with her own personal challenges as the support she has provided to her father has caused the end of her relationship and significant personal hardship.
Because of these challenges, there has been many times were Christine has questioned her work, not feeling like shes doing a good enough job in her role because of the sometimes difficult feedback she has received.