Editorial: Merlin’s staff are its greatest asset

Alton Towers staffIt’s fair to say you would struggle to recall instances of where you have been spoken to rudely by staff at a theme park operated by Merlin Entertainments.

Indeed, most people are left with lasting impressions of enthusiastic employees asking if they are enjoying their day.

Of course there are cases of ignorant or rude staff – but compared to the independent theme parks, these are a tiny minority.

It is worth remembering that the rate of pay is similar, typically at or slightly above the minimum wage – yet Merlin employees seem genuinely motivated and enthusiastic.

This sort of attitude is naturally infectious, making guests feel valued and good about themselves.

Customer service is an area where Merlin have generally excelled beyond the competition, and the smaller parks could learn much from their example.

And it seems some of them are doing just that. If you were visiting the Lincolnshire parks of Pleasure and Fantasy Island this weekend, you would have encountered much friendlier staff than in previous years.

In an economy where jobs are hard to come by, the parks are able to effectively pick and retain the very best people, who are often still in their teens.

In an industry where guest experience and the creation of long-lasting good impressions is vital, it is essential that independent parks continue to try and bridge the gap to Merlin’s exemplary standards.

As the company so finely puts it, employees are at the heart of a business.