Outer Banks Blue’s staff is known for delivery of great customer service, and our reservations sales team is recognized as one of the best in the business. This isn’t by accident. Company President Tim Cafferty is dedicated to staff training unlike many others. Tim recently brought Doug Kennedy to the Outer Banks to conduct a full day reservations sales training and customer service program so the Outer Banks Blue and Sandbridge Blue Realty Services staff could “sharpen their skills” prior to the upcoming summer season.
Doug Kennedy, from Hollywood, Florida is a leading trainer on customer service and reservation sales for hotels and vacation rental firms in the USA. He has a long list of impressive clients, and he has spoken at dozens of national conferences. On Wednesday, March 30th Mr. Kennedy came to Kitty Hawk to visit with and train the staff of Outer Banks Blue and Sandbridge Blue Realty Services.
With his permission we are posting an article Doug prepared for his own blog on his visit to the Outer Banks.
Of all of the many visits I’ve made to the Outer Banks of NC to conduct training over the years, I have to say this trip was very special. The occasion was to present on-site reservations sales training for Outer Banks Blue, one of the many vacation home rental companies on the Outer Banks. This was extra special because Tim Cafferty, the founder and owner, has been a client and friend of mine for about 13 years now. Ever since I had met him during my very first speech for the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association back in 1998 we have always stayed in touch and found ways to work together. When he was the President of VRMA, my company worked closely with the association to provide trainer certification programs, and at the same time Tim hired us to train his family’s rental company which he worked for back then. So we go back a long way.
Aside from admiring Tim professionally, I have always connected with Tim personally as we are both actively involved fathers and entrepreneurs. Tim is also a great trainer and conference speaker. Here’s my picture with Tim after the training workshop, along with “Blue,” the well-traveled company mascot.
Despite having spent about 90 minutes being “Dad’s taxi service” for his 5 children earlier in the evening, Tim made time the night prior to the training to take me out to dinner at a fabulous local restaurant called Ocean Boulevard Bistro which was located in the building that once housed a hardware store that Tim shopped in as a kid. After dinner we even got to stop by his home and I got to meet four of his five kids, including his adorable 7 year old twins. Then I saw that before meeting me for dinner and after driving, Tim had also managed time to make dinner and everyone looked happily fed.
Over dinner I just had to talk a little basketball as my Kentucky Wildcats had just a few nights prior defeated his North Carolina Tar Heels. Then I got to learn something new about my buddy Tim – he told me he played in the NC basketball team from ’80 to ’84 and was a team mate of Michael Jordan’s.
As great as it was to see Tim I have to say that the “work” I was there to do the next day was way more like fun, as I got to train his absolutely superstar team of employees. Most resort companies only have the core reservations agents attend the reservations training workshop. But at Tim’s company, he had everyone from housekeeping to maintenance, sales, homeowner services, and even accounting attend. What a great collection of talent and personalities, which was no surprise as Tim makes time to have every new employee’s first day on the job being to shadow him for the entire day. Here’s a picture with me and the group that day.
A visit to Tim’s company was also interesting as I got to see the many contests and workplace displays he and his leadership team is always using. For example, Tim had just had a “March Madness” contest whereby he assigned his team into “brackets,” then personally listened to one randomly recorded calls of each agent in each bracket, selecting one to move on to the next round. Here’s a picture of some of the workplace displays in his company: