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Leading Edge: The value of a nice loo

In a previous incarnation as the editor of a prominent Canadian business magazine, I was fortunate enough to tour and write about some of the top hotel properties in the world.


September 8, 2014
By Stacy Bradshaw


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In a previous incarnation as the editor of a prominent Canadian business magazine, I was fortunate enough to tour and write about some of the top hotel properties in the world.

leading edge  
It also shows a strong work ethic, because cleaning bathrooms isn’t up there on anyone’s priority list.
PHOTO: Kreos Aviation


 

What impressed me most about these facilities was the unique combination of service excellence from dedicated employees coupled with an acute sense of detail that you just don’t see in most “cookie-cutter” facilities. The staff at the world’s top hotel brands and impeccable independent properties “get it” when it comes to creating unique, memorable experiences that keep customers coming back again and again.

And call me crazy, but one of the most invaluable ways I used to evaluate the properties was by assessing the quality and condition of the bathroom – as a clean, well-kept oasis reveals a commitment to service and attention to detail. It also shows a strong work ethic, because cleaning bathrooms isn’t exactly up there on most people’s priority list.

I’m sure I’m dating myself here, but there’s an ongoing shtick in Seinfeld built on this premise – George Costanza and his quest for the perfect corporate “comfort station.” In one episode, the affable George stumbles upon his best job ever – which comes complete with the perfect loo, his own corporate throne. And really, in the aviation environment, coming in from a long-haul destination, tired and burnt out, or held captive with a makeshift latrine in some northern ops camp, who doesn’t want the chance to experience a bathroom nirvana? If you’ve flown commercially and experienced some of the lovely offerings in just about every North American airport, you understand what I am talking about.

It’s also why I belted out an emphatic “yes” – and stunned the folks in the cubicles next to me – when, in my interview with KREOS Aviation’s Sherry Franks and Wes Ramsay, they both went into detail about their commitment to having a nice bathroom at their Saskatoon, Sask.-based FBO. Ramsay assured me that the KREOS latrine is always pristine.

“This, is absolutely critical,” Ramsay said, chuckling. “You can always tell the quality of a house, a property, by the kitchen . . . and the bathroom!”

Voted Wings Top FBO in Central Canada in our annual Top Canadian FBO survey (see, “Red Carpet Treatment,” pg. 18), KREOS has taken the plunge by creating an outstanding respite for its corporate passengers and pilots. Like the other winners of our fourth annual report, the KREOS team has mastered the nuances of blending top service with unique amenities that leave customers with an experience to remember.

As all the winners have indicated, reaching such a standard is not an accident. It takes flexible, attentive, service-minded employees who understand that the individual needs of all customers take priority . . . and it’s all done with a smile. Wings  2014 FBO winners also comprehend that customers demand the best; they expect value from pricing to maintenance and much more. Like their hotel brethren, it’s about doing things in a unique, memorable way.

“A lot of what our customers enjoy is the atmosphere of the FBO,” Franks said. “When you come to this facility, when you look around, the first thing you see is the local art on the walls, the artists prominent in the area. The attention to detail in every room incorporates many aspects of aviation, including books, art, local fishing camps, activities going on in Saskatoon, specialized aviation furniture, chandeliers . . . it all works to identify the local heritage.”

Attention to detail, exceeding expectations and offering a unique product – they’re all components of a winning FBO recipe. Congratulations to all of the 64 properties receiving votes this year. Good luck exceeding customer expectations in the future – and, of course, ensuring the bathrooms are clean!