Krasnodar, 6 March – Yug Times. The only spa, in Greater Sochi at least, that has a zoo. Local townsfolk are very fond of visiting it.
Olga Zaslavskaya, Director of Oktiabrsky Spa & Health Centre, reveals her secrets of success, superiority of women over men, and scarce publicity of Kuban and North Caucasus resorts.
Q.: Did you dream to become a top manager since childhood?
A.: No, I have never dreamt of it. My career is the result of the efforts my parents and the Soviet educational system had invested in me, and high level of managerial training in the country that had ceased to exist about thirty years ago.
Q.: In your opinion, what are you personal qualities that let you become the director of such a big spa resort as Oktiabrsky?
A.: The main quality that has helped me make career is diligence. Back in 1998, there was no Oktiabrsky Spa Resort – just foundations of several buildings scattered over the area of more than five hectares. But let’s drop the details. Now Oktiabrsky is a four-star complex equipped with amenities needed for full-value recreation and medical treatment. I am absolutely confident that it has no match over the entire Black Sea coast as regards the quality and number of the services it renders.
Q.: What results has Oktiabrsky achieved thanks to your personal management?
A.: For many years, we have been topping the list of 21 spas and resort facilities owned by the Russian Railways with regard to such key factors as financial results, absence of complaints and claims about service quality, and infrastructure.
Customer service excellence is the factor which I give much time and attention. Our visitors must go home pleased and feeling thoroughly rested. What is more, I personally look through all questionnaires that our guests have filled out. For me, these papers are documents that must be ‘retained forever’. I have been taught by the lesson presented some eight years ago by a group from Sweden. During a conversation, they asked me to show them our customers’ references about Oktiabrsky — but we could not do it. Since then, for us such reviews have been of great importance. Ability to make conclusions and constant desire to learn is a very important quality for any activity.
Q.: The regional authorities are known to pay serious attention to the spa and resort sector. What is your expert opinion on this assertion?
A.: One should work efficiently in any conditions — this is what I am absolutely confident in. The only remark that I may have to our municipal and regional power is that we are still lacking activities of international importance to promote our spas — and not only in Sochi, but along the entire Black Sea coast. Such activities are a must — because, for instance, we have thousands of tourists coming to see our sports events. Efficient promotion may minimize such factor as seasonality which is our main scourge. But it can be easily dealt with — because spas and resorts of the Krasnodar region and North Caucasus on the whole offer a unique set of competitive services, often at very democratic prices. There is no other place in the world like here.
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