Q & A with Rowena Phillips, Director/Owner at Matterhorn Diamonds
Our Founder & CEO, Michael Stocker, sat down with Rowena Phillips, Director/Owner at Matterhorn Diamonds, a private ski school in Zermatt, Switzerland, to speak for a brief question and answer discussion. Matterhorn Diamonds was one of the first to implement Only Sky in the Summer of 2018 during the initial OS expansion into Europe. Read their discussion below!
Michael: Rowena, thanks for sitting down with me. Let’s start by telling everyone about Matterhorn Diamonds and what you do?
Rowena: We are a private ski school in Zermatt concentrating on providing a tailored ski experience to all our clients
Michael: Why did you initially decide to partner with Only Sky?
Rowena: For us, Only Sky provided a breadth of functionality that was beyond our current requirements, meaning not only could they fulfill our demands at the moment, but also they are able to grow their ability to support in line with our growth.
Michael: After your first season with Only Sky, do you think that’s still the most valuable component of the partnership? If not, what is now?
Rowena: Yes absolutely and Only Sky has also been great also in incorporating feedback as we go; not easy when there are many requirements but they’re able to drill through and work out how things can be tailored for us. Their support setup is also flawless
Michael: How have your customers responded to using the Only Sky platform to book their experiences with you
Rowena: We have had very little feedback, which for us basically means it’s working well; the customer should almost be unaware of the system, provided that what it does is offer clear, fast and easy booking process.
Michael: What’s the biggest problem Only Sky has solved for your staff?
Rowena: Ease of access to client information. There’s always a learning curve and there are a lot of rumblings about “the old system” which we probably had in place too long and it had become very cumbersome for the office staff; not something the instructors saw, which is a testament to the quality of our office team! But it was becoming very laborious. So internally, it has made a huge difference in automated processes and time saved
Michael: How do you maintain the highly tailored and personal touch with your clients while combining an ecommerce option?
Rowena: All our clients have the option to speak to us personally, using one of many media to contact us anytime; they can call, email, whatsapp, facebook message, instagram message, tweet, or even send us a message on linkedin. Plus of course they can check anytime our availability online through Only Sky.
We ensure that we ask the right questions and create a personal relationship with our clients before we get to the ecommerce point. Despite the strong trend towards ecommerce generally, we find that the personal touch first builds trust and often yearlong commitments that means that the ecommerce function ties in slickly.
Michael: What’s your current take on the state of the international ski school market across Europe?
Rowena: It’s getting to be a tougher and tougher market. The average age of the skier is increasing every year and as such, the skier numbers are slowly dwindling. Even with the injection of Chinese skiers, the majority are one-time skiers that a: don’t venture outside of China to ski and b: try it one time, often for a half day experience, which is great, but so far it hasn’t developed into the kind of long lasting client that we have been lucky enough to grow used to from the traditional markets in Europe and the US.
As such, schools need to find new innovative and profitable ways to develop their offering to appeal to skiers new and old in order to stay afloat.
Michael: What advice would you have to another ski school considering implementing Only Sky?
Rowena: I would thoroughly recommend it, but like with any new technology, have a VERY CLEAR idea of what problems you’re looking to solve first, and work out where you’re going. There’s a very good chance that Only Sky can help, but they can only help if they know what you want :-)
Michael: Any parting words for your fans?
Rowena: Never stop learning, both on and off the mountain and let Only Sky help you spend less time on the day-to-day to allow you to spend more time on the extraordinary.
About Matterhorn Diamonds
Matterhorn Diamonds is a small bespoke ski school offering only private tuition in Zermatt, Switzerland. All our full-time instructors are fully qualified, very experienced and know every inch of the mountains around Zermatt. Our promise is a safe environment, tailored learning and maximum enjoyment. (https://www.matterhorn-diamonds.com/)