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The Aloha Spirit at Turtle Bay Resort

This past week the CSI International Performance group had our annual meeting on the fabled North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii at the world famous Turtle Bay Resort. As customer experience experts, our customer service radar is always on high alert, which is part of the reason we selected this fantastic resort to have our meeting.

From the minute we arrived to the minute we departed, we were treated like rock stars. The service was above and beyond our expectations and the staff embodied the 7 Personalization Principles by which our team lives and breathes.

Here is a recap on our experience at Turtle Bay Resort and some key takeaways that will help you and your team better serve your customers and each other!

These principles are excerpts from our forthcoming book, which will be release this winter. Read more about The Mega Trends of Personalization here.


In Hawaii, you don’t find many instances of fake people. The Hawaiian people have such an authentic spirit and culture that exudes in every interaction with them. At Turtle Bay Resort especially, I found that the staff were very patient and took the time to listen to us and interact with us in a genuine manner. They didn’t have a pre-scripted spiel they gave when serving us. They genuinely took the time to make eye contact with us, ask how they could serve us, listened and responded appropriately.

One of our colleagues was even thanked (for staying at the resort) in the hallway by housekeeping.

At every touch point we were asked about our service experience and what they could do to make it better.

You could tell from this experience that ever worker was enabled to use their best judgment in all situations.



Every single worker I encountered at Turtle Bay Resort had an extremely positive attitude and a servant mentality. I never felt guilty about asking them to go above and beyond for something, because they never hesitated to allow those opportunities to happen and always had 100% customer focus.

From the moment we arrived, they took care of everything for us. My husband and I were staying an extra day, and they didn’t have our reservation in their system. With just a few clicks and about 30 seconds later, the concierge said, “You’re all set,” with not a hymn, ha or eye roll.

Another instance of hospitality was when I made my way into the Adventure Centre for what they advertised as a ‘lactose free’ ice cream. I was pretty excited about that, since ice cream is a rarity for me. The worker smiled and told me he was actually, “trying to get rid of the chocolate,” and he handed me over a cone on the house!



One morning after breakfast we went back to our room to change into our swim suits. Housekeeping knocked on the door to clean our room and I told her we would be out in about 10 minutes. She proceeded to smile and say, “You take your time honey, you’re on vacation. I’ll come back later.” The way she said it was so cute and it made me smile. She wasn’t annoyed that she would have to return, she genuinely wanted to make sure that we did what we wanted, when we wanted to and weren’t inconvenienced in any way.

Another instance where I felt the service staff exhibited empathy was at a special dinner service for our team. I am lactose intolerant and the waiter over heard my spouse and I discussing it, and he proceeded to tell me he was going to get me a different type of salad dressing than what was being served because there was dairy in it. That was empathetic service! I didn’t even have to ask him, he just went out of his way to serve me in the way I wanted to be served.



At every touch point I felt that the staff at Turtle Bay were committed to doing the right thing for their customers. They kept their promises every time and went above and beyond whenever possible.



Equally as important to being committed to serving the customer, is being competent to do so. Every staff member at Turtle Bay seemed to be competent, and was enabled to do their designated jobs in a fast, friendly and hassle-free manner.

I especially noticed the seamless teamwork that occurred between staff members. They always worked together in a friendly manner and helped each other to better serve their customers. There wasn’t any competitiveness between workers and they communicated with each other clearly and openly.



Not only was every worker at the Turtle Bay Resort incredibly open and friendly, so were all the other locals we met.

You can feel the change of energy and pace as soon as you land in Hawaii. Everyone we encountered embodied the Aloha spirit, sending and receiving back positive energy. This energy and friendliness was purely authentic. You can feel that it’s a conscious decision Hawaiians make every day to slow down, listen, take in their surroundings, and live a harmonious life.



There were so many instances I can think of where I experienced the fun that the Turtle Bay resort staff was having. I found the service staff especially was always smiling, joking around with their customers and always had pep in their step! Our bar tender at our special events always stayed after the bar had closed to wrap up our service (even though he probably wasn’t getting paid anymore). The musicians at our special dinner stayed to play multiple encores and allowed our staff to sing along and dance with them.

Above all, the staff at Turtle Bay Resort worked hard to make sure the entire experience was magical for us. They made sure that we always felt the Aloha spirit!


Combined, these personalization principles and the exceptional customer experience provided at Turtle Bay Resort left a lasting impression that made us want to buy more, return in the future and positively refer others.

Mahalo to the staff at Turtle Bay Resort for providing our team with an exceptional experience that inspired and rejuvenated us for the year ahead!

I’d also like to say Mahalo to the regular readers of this blog and to the new ones who stumbled across it. I hope you’ll come back and read more about how to create exceptional customer and employee experiences – I’ll be happy to serve you!



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