You don’t get named as the second best convention centre in the world without a laser-like focus on customer service. Shaw Centre earned this prestigious honour in 2014 but since then we’ve certainly not been sitting on our laurels because for us, demonstrating that customers are always our top priority means we need to keep innovating and reinventing what we do every day.
Ours is a big operation, so how do I get a handle on what’s working well and what’s not when it comes to customer service? Well, one of my favourite tasks as President and CEO for Shaw Centre is sifting through the feedback we receive from clients. As a result of their input as well as some creative thinking by members of our team, we’ve introduced some new initiatives recently that are proving extremely popular; these include:
- Installing cellphone charging stations throughout the Centre;
- Creating and distributing meeting planner survival kits;
- Stocking comfort items for delegates on-site including complimentary Pashminas, reading glasses and flat shoes;
- Developing customized menus and being prepared to accommodate last minute dietary requirements; and
- Establishing our ‘Leave a Legacy’ Program which makes it easy for our clients to give back to the community by coordinating the donation to local charities of left-over food or goods.
Like many businesses, customer service is a fundamental part of our brand. We want customers to continue to associate Shaw Centre with knowledgeable and friendly professionals who are actively dedicated to ensuring customers’ needs are both anticipated and met. How do we do this? It starts with a focus on our own workforce, giving them training and tools to develop new skills, growing their knowledge, and empowering them to lead new initiatives. We are also very keen on rewarding efforts, celebrating achievements and letting everyone know that every action they take matters to the success of Shaw Centre.
By focusing our own people first, we enable them to make every guest at the Centre their primary focus. Our people come to work every day aiming for excellence in delivering our clients’ events. They are the heart of our business and pass on their enthusiasm to our guests and I am constantly reminded of how important their work is and how grateful we are to have them as brand ambassadors for our magnificent facility.
In the five and half years since we opened our doors, I’m proud to say that Shaw Centre has truly transformed the meetings and conventions landscape in Canada’s capital. We’ve hosted hundreds of major conferences and events and in the process, we’ve gained a reputation for outstanding customer service that has earned us international accolades. There are many other destinations across the country and around the world where organizations could hold their events, yet those that choose Shaw Centre frequently tell us they do so because of our unwavering commitment to meeting, and often exceeding, customers’ expectations in every way possible.
Looking forward, Shaw Centre will continue to innovate while retaining its focus on our key pillars, which include customer service, sustainability and delivering excellence while giving back to the community. Together with our like-minded partners at Ottawa Tourism we will work to provide enhanced, unforgettable customer service to everyone who walks through our doors. It is my expectation that within the next five years our collective efforts will see Ottawa becoming a tier one city for meetings, where the whole city will be considered as a meeting venue, using every inch of our destination to elevate the customer experience.