Creating A Five Star Customer Experience & Exceeding Expectations - Digital Tourism Show #212

Lead by Chris Torres, Bridgeen Mullen will discuss how The Clydeside Distillery focus on customer service, creating a five star customer experience and how to exceed expectations. Bridgeen will also discuss the challenges opening a new attraction.

Bridgeen Mullen, the manager at The Clydeside Distillery. Bridgeen is a natural storyteller and the audience listened intently as she discussed the challenges that came with starting up The Clydeside. Due to the iconic nature of the amazing building, The Clydeside enjoyed a lot of initial PR, but before they could take full advantage of this, they needed to get their Visit Scotland 5-star rating. Bridgeen explained that she had previously not understood how much time these kinds of things take and she emphasised how important reviews and entities like Visit Scotland are to having a successful tourism business.

Bridgeen told us about the exclusive hard-hat tours they ran long before the distillery was up and ready for the general public in 2017. Rather than resting on their laurels, waiting for the big opening day, The Clydeside organised ‘hard-hat tours’ where guests could find out more about the project when it was still in the building phase. Guests would don a hard hat and explore the building site with their guide. Bridgeen explained that these hard-hat tours were key to generating a lot of the buzz as they allowed influential people into the building long before it was ready for the general public. This kind of forward thinking has allowed The Clydeside to hit the ground running in Glasgow’s tours and attraction scene. 

Bridgeen discussed the recruitment process, explaining that it was a huge, but vitally important, task. Criteria for the new Clydeside Distillery jobs included experience working with the public, a love for whisky (obviously!), and the ability to speak a second language. The language criterion makes a lot of sense, as so much of the tours and activities sector involves working with tourists from all over the world. One or two additional languages, beyond English is a massive boost to the Clydeside’s customer service. Bridgeen also explained at the end of the talk that it’s about getting the right people that are passionate and sincere in the work they do. 

When asked about PR and engaging with new customers, Bridgeen explained that the website and social media have proven key, and that really great photography is also vital. With all of The Clydeside Distillery’s content marketing, it was interesting to hear that the process of making the whisky was the topic most people responded to. 

In the Q&A, Chris acknowledged The Clydeside Distillery’s excellent reviews and asked Bridgeen if she had any tips for the audience. Bridgeen explained that she is always thinking about what the customer feels at different stages of their journey. The Clydeside let customers in early — even before they officially open, and they also offer the dram at the end of the tour in a jar in case the customer would prefer to take it home. They will also never put the chairs up until after the last customer has left. These little touches can make a big difference and have directly contributed to The Clydeside Distillery’s impressive 5-star reviews over a relatively short time period.

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