Judi Liddell has again been nominated for the Excellence in Eden Business Awards, the Cat Balou Cruises hostess in the running for the Best Customer Service by an Individual award to be presented at the August 25 gala dinner.
“It’s a surprise and I’m really flattered,” she said when told she’d been nominated. The nomination highlighted the care and attention Judi pays her passengers as they venture out around Twofold Bay to see up close migrating whales or just cruise the bay to learn Eden’s history up to three times a day.
“She has very effective listening skills and makes one feel important and appreciated regardless of the stupid questions asked of her,” read the nomination from a person who’d been out on the boat with her.
Judi said there was no great secret and just loves doing her job.
“I just try to make people happy and their trip enjoyable,” she said. “I try to make contact with everyone on the boat individually rather than treat everyone as a group.
“The thing is I enjoy it, so that really does help. We’ve got a really good crew and we have a great time and I think that shows through to our passengers.”
Although there are always challenges with passenger numbers up to 60, three times a day, Judi said there are great rewards, especially when they see a whale for the first time.
“Some people cry, they get really emotional when they see a whale up close and that makes it more exciting,” she said. “Just seeing people happy and really enjoying it is lovely.”
People from all over Australia come to Eden for the Cat Balou experience and Judi said many of them come back.
“The other day we had a coach trip from Melbourne and there were five women on there who were coming back for their fifth time,” she said.
“You try to recognise people like that and remember their names – I’ve always tried to remember my customers.”