Marcus Heng, chief human resources officer of Mandai Park Holdings, the holding company of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, shares with TTG Asia the organisation’s journey to building a strong service culture at its four zoological attractions
To inspire an appreciation of wildlife among the five million guests that spend a day in our immersive wildlife parks – Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo – we go beyond providing a beautifully landscaped physical environment and curating a diverse living collection.
We look within ourselves and believe that the heartware would add a Midas touch to transform a fun day out for our guests into a truly memorable wildlife experience.
Over the last few years, WRS has focused on three areas:
The guest is at the core of everything we do, and the key is active listening: feedback forms, focus groups, surveys, social media, phone interactions and face-to-face engagements. Listening helps us identify key strengths and map out areas of improvement.
Guest satisfaction at our parks is a shared responsibility across the organisation, thus multidisciplinary teams are engaged to look into service enhancements.
We believe in serving from the heart; a warm greeting as guests walk through our gates, a zookeeper personally explaining more about the animals to guests, or a caring operations executive offering an ice-cream to a distressed child who temporarily lost sight of her parents.
Such service takes time and effort to cultivate, and it must begin with a motivated team.
That is what we sought to spark with the Heart service campaign. Over several months, we inspired and imbued staff across various levels of the organisation with the values of Heart: happy, empathetic, attentive, reliable and timely.
The Heart service campaign stretches beyond service skills and focuses on the core of why we do what we do in a wildlife park – to inspire our guests to love and appreciate wildlife – and thereby go the extra mile to engage our guests.
The organisation also holds internal service awards to recognise and appreciate staff who display excellent service attitudes and actions, as well as those who have gone above and beyond for our guests, embodying all the Heart values.
Extending a degree of responsibility to guest-facing staff is the organisation’s way of showing that they are trusted with the on-the-ground decisions they make. In return, this trust would create a sense of accountability towards our common goal, and empowers and motivates staff to deliver service excellence.
With motivated and dedicated employees, it will inevitably lead to better guest experience and satisfaction.
Our efforts at service excellence were recently recognised at the Singapore Tourism Awards 2018, where Night Safari was awarded Best Attraction Experience, and one of our stellar team members from Night Safari, Emmey Mohamed bin Nenpari, won the Best Customer Service for Attractions.
Such success does not come overnight, and certainly is the culmination of
many people, processes and culture. We will continue to strive for service excellence.