We talked to Lidija Djuric, Senior Training Specialist at Coca Cola HBC Serbia about the main topic of this edition of SEEbtm magazine – Client Satisfaction.
- 1. When you planning the training for your employees, what are the essential requirements a hotel and its training facilities have to satisfy before you even consider them for further negotiations?
Coca-Cola Hellenic invests a lot of effort and resources in the training of its employees. We organize a variety of training courses for over 1,200 employees on a daily basis. Only last year we organized approximately 60,000 hours of training. About one half of that time was organized externally, in cooperation with different hotels. As the organizer of so many events, I find ease of communication with hotels to be a key issue, I like to have one contact person with whom I can find efficient solutions and organize things. If the hotel’s facilities are available on the days when we want to organize our training, the next step in negotiations is to define the terms for the training facilities, the necessary equipment, and refreshments for the participants. Since we manufacture non-alcoholic beverages and our product portfolio includes water, fruit juice, and non-alcoholic soda drinks, one of the conditions for our cooperation with a hotel is that it has our production portfolio in its offer. The next step and another aspect that can influence our choice of hotel is determining terms of payment.
2. What other conditions and facilities does a training room have to provide considering the fact that the offer of meeting rooms for minor numbers of participants is considerable?
There are plenty of hotels that lease meeting and training rooms and a number of them really do fall within the category of modern business hotels, providing good technical equipment and own parking. I don’t think it’s too difficult to find venue for training either in Belgrade or in any other city, if there is need to go outside it. The greatest difference between the hotels is their treatment of us as their customers. That is what often keeps us coming back to the same hotel. We know what to expect and what we are sure to find there. I have to admit that our demands sometimes exceed the normal scope of services and I am glad that there are venues and people willing to make the effort and put in the time to help us put our ideas into effect.
3. As you often organize training, what are the reasons that will make you organize them in one place several times or that will make you change venue?
More or less the same things I mentioned in my previous answer. We certainly won’t think of using a hotel again if what we experienced the previous time was inadequate organization and poor service. It all comes down to the attitude of the staff towards us as the client and their willingness to ensure our training proceeds according to plan and in satisfactory conditions. We can accept certain technical limitations because not every hotel can provide high tech equipment but a responsive and dedicated staff certainly isn’t too much to ask.
4. Do the hotels and agencies whose services you used evaluate the extent of your customer satisfaction? If so, have you noticed any difference in their service in response to any of your suggestions?
So far we haven’t been asked to actually fill out any questionnaires. They get feedback from us every time we do business together and I am glad to say that the same mistakes aren’t repeated. We always try to express our appreciation for their good service and point out anything we were particularly pleased about during a particular training event.
5. Once a particular training event is over, what is it that leaves a lasting impression on you in terms of hotel service?
I think things went well if after the event you don’t think about the hotel. That means everything went smoothly and that you had no reason to react. Oversights and mistakes aren’t easily forgotten and that kind of impression is difficult to change. A word of advice to those using hotel services is to give the hotel another chance even if the first time the service wasn’t first rate, and to hotels, to accept their client’s suggestions because that will only help them raise their service to the next level.