Launch Slideshow

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THE WAVE WATERPARK | VISTA, CALIF.

THE WAVE WATERPARK | VISTA, CALIF.

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The word “superhero” conjures images of Spiderman saving the world from calamity or Batman foiling the latest evildoer. But at The Wave Waterpark, superheroes are concerned with something more basic, though just as hard to come by: excellent customer service.

In targeting a young staff of 16- to 24-year-olds, operators needed a training program that would not only teach the elements of great customer service, but also reinforce them daily. So they came up with a model based on “SUPERHEROES.” The “super” stands for:

  • Smile and use positive body language
  • U-rock. No personal issues; show your personality
  • Play and make their day. Greet guests and answer questions.
  • Extreme enthusiasm for what you do.
  • Reach out and time out. Find out about the guests and hear their stories.

Reach out and time out. Find out about the guests and hear their stories.

The “heroes” part comes from the park’s core mission statement of “being Helpful, practicing Excellence, demonstrating Responsibility, providing Opportunity, showing Excitement and creating Safety for all of our guests.”

To help keep these principles in the forefront of employees’ minds, each day starts with a staff meeting, and individual and team rewards are given out regularly. “We do a debriefing with a fun game and brain teasers to get everyone motivated, and to get some fun and laughter going,” says Natalie Livingston, general manager.

This focus on customer service helps reduce turnover and boost attendance. “We often get comments from guests, such as, ‘Your employees are so fun, they must love working here!’” Livingston says.

Marketing also has been a key factor in attracting local families and tourists. In 2007, The Wave increased attendance by 7 percent, thanks in part to a joint promotional campaign with other local attractions. The campaign offered season-pass purchasers free admission to the other attractions.

In the off-season, The Wave hosts two high school swim and water polo teams, and offers swim lessons, water aerobics and lap swims, and the like.

The park’s newest attraction is Rippity’s Rainforest, a four-story, dry attraction for kids with climbing nets, tunnels and slides — plus a not-so-dry spraypad nearby. — I.H.