Q&A WITH A LEARNING LEADER
Kara Lachance is inspired by learning. “It’s amazing what you can learn from listening to people, sharing stories, facts, and experiences,” she says. Lucky for her, as Director of Learning for Cape Cod’s Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, her passion is also her vocation.
Following a career path that included Walt Disney World and ESPN before bringing her to Wequassett 7 years ago, Kara has spent the past 3 years as the leader of staff training for Wequassett—an experience the resort takes quite seriously. For Wequassett, the guest always comes first, and employees are carefully and specifically trained to ensure a world-class experience for every guest. And just as Kara has no typical day, there is no typical guest or typical situation. But no matter the situation, there is a typical employee response each and every time: exceeding expectations.
Q: Why is employee training a priority at Wequassett?
A: “Training is the #1 priority at Wequassett Resort because we expect a lot out of each and every employee. The only way we can ask so much is by providing each of them with the proper training. Within our training our operating philosophy—customer intimacy—is weaved throughout. We want all of our employees to know it, understand it, and embrace it. Our employees need to have confidence to perform their job to the level our guests have come to expect. Technical proficiency is required at all times, as well as personalized service. Training’s goal is to provide each guest with seamless, extraordinary service.”
Q: What does your operating philosophy “customer intimacy” mean?
A: “A customer intimate company focuses on delivering not what the market wants, but what the specific customer wants. Customer intimate companies do not necessarily offer the lowest price or the latest product features—however, they offer their customers the best total experience. Customer intimate companies focus on cultivating relationships and are driven to build confidence and trust with their customers.”
Q: How does Wequassett’s level of training compare to other resorts?
A: “Wequassett Resort invests a lot of time and energy in training. We believe it is a thorough program within the industry. We were rated #13 for training programs amongst Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon, McDonald’s, and Bank of America. We are proud of what we have and what we are able to accomplish.”
Q: What’s your favorite story of exceptional customer service at Wequassett?
A: “The stories are endless! We have housekeepers who have developed relationships with guests over the years and Skype with one another during the winter. We have recreation employees playing video games in their off time to babysit for our guests. We have front desk agents driving to the airport an hour away to deliver forgotten items. Our employees routinely go above and beyond for our guests.”
It’s no wonder Wequassett has earned more than a mantle’s worth of accolades, including AAA Four Diamonds, top spots from Conde Nast Traveler, Four Stars from Forbes Travel Guide, best-of honors from Travel+Leisure, and, not surprisingly, a Boston Globe Top Place to Work.
Bring your next corporate retreat to Wequassett Resort, and learn for yourself why the resort is tops for meetings—and so much more.
Photos, clockwise from top left: Director of Learning Kara Lachance, Kara (left) with Director of Catering Sales Amy Farrell at an employee event, a breathtaking view from the resort.