Everybody these days seems to claim that they are the best. I was recently in New York City (the media capitol of world). Here you find the best of almost anything. They say that they have the best pizza and cannolis, the best shopping and food, the best shows and plays and it goes on forever. I was inundated by the word "best" so I started to think what does it really mean "to be the best"? The more I thought the more I came up with what it doesn't mean. It does not mean that you are the biggest or the oldest, it does not mean you are the newest or the most cutting edge. I think it is much more than that. I think that it has to do with core values and how you present those core values to everyone.
There are lots of rafting companies on the Ocoee River and we all raft the same sections of river. So what distinguishes one company from the rest? Every company is different on the Ocoee River. We have very large corporate companies to the very small several employee companies. We all use about the same equipment and we all use the same type school buses for transporting our customers. I believe it is the people that make the difference. I starts with me the owner of Outdoor Adventure Rafting. My philosophy is singular in thought and purpose to be as customer driven as possible.
This means that in every decision I make, first starts with the customer in mind. How will it effect the customer and how will this benefit the customer? Once those are answered everything else is academic. I want every customer to feel like OAR is their rafting company. Starting with this idea, it guides me in hiring employees and training them as well. I hire people that are happy and friendly and willing to set aside their needs for the customer. So, when a customer calls or walks though the door they first get a smile and then a can do attitude. We will do everything in our power to make sure the customer is happy. Since we deal in outdoor activities, we are also aware of the possible dangers that can occur when participating in those activities.
The correct training is critical. Our training program goes well beyond the basic state requirements. We have evaluated each segment of outdoor activity that we facilitate and take each employee though a specific training regiment to make sure that when the customer is involved that ever possible safety measure is being implemented. Examples of these measures would be the advanced Swift Water Training that each guide must complete in order to work for OAR or the advanced Alpine Tower certification that a ropes guide must complete.
Being the "best" in my opinion, is what Outdoor Adventure Rafting does every minute of every day. We think of the customer first.