CMA Blog

Household Management students hone their craft in a historic setting in downtown Toronto

Posted by CMA Staff on Sep 28, 2018 11:15:00 AM

For the first time ever under the roof of Toronto’s historic Campbell House Museum, students of the Charles MacPherson Academy gathered last week to hone the art of fine service delivery in a dining setting.

Under the watchful helm of English butler and recognized etiquette expert Mr. John Robertson, students were led through a series of hands-on exercises including napkin folding, the appropriate receiving of guests at the door and the setting of a table for an elegant meal. 

“I’ve read about many of the concepts we covered today but being able to implement them first-hand was so helpful,” said student India Poole, a former nanny from Chicago who hopes to transition to a career in household management.

“Particularly when it came to the napkin folding,” she added, after trying her hand at different styles in Campbell House’s rustic Robinette room. “I’ve always concentrated on getting that perfect fold, but learning to focus my attention on the corners was new to me.”

In the afternoon students made their way to the manor’s 19th century dining room, where they handled china and crystal with silk gloves and learned to transition the rules and protocol of societies past to the contemporary.

Carefully reviewing each facet of the highest quality of service, Mr. John Robertson imparted many of his own personal experiences to students from his history both as butler to senior members of the British aristocracy and house manager to affluent, modern families.

“Plan, organize, implement, control,” Mr. Robertson said to busy students as they gently set down salad plates to the right of their colleagues, poured wine in their glasses and announced to all that dinner was served in proper manner.

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Topics: House Manager, Hospitality Skills, Academy

Tackling those tricky housekeeping tasks

Posted by CMA Staff on Jul 17, 2018 12:39:08 PM

Not all housekeeping tasks are equal. Some tasks are straightforward, while others are a bit more complicated. Charles MacPherson answers viewer's frequently asked questions on The Marilyn Denis Show breaking down those tricky situations with easy solutions.

Scroll down to watch the entire video.

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Topics: How to, Housekeeping, The Marilyn Denis Show

Etiquette at a BBQ, is there even such a thing?

Posted by CMA Staff on Jul 1, 2018 1:01:00 PM

With the hot weather in full swing across most of the country, people are moving outside to enjoy the great outdoors, firing up BBQs and inviting friends and family over to celebrate.

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Topics: Hospitality Skills, Lifestyle

Putting the L.O.V.E. in Customer Service

Posted by Andrew Gayman on Jun 20, 2018 8:00:00 AM

As a consulting and training firm, we live and breathe customer service - we can't stop talking about it. We are consistently talking about our good and bad experiences, championing the good ones and thinking about how we could have fixed the bad ones.

Often times service providers are too narrow when looking at customer service; "How quickly can I solve this?", "What does this person want?" and even "How can I get this person off my back?". Customer service providers forget to stop and ask the all important question, "How does this person feel right now?".

Good customer service is more than just fixing someone's latte order, it's about taking into account their emotions and how they feel. Customer service can be complex but when you take a moment to break down the situation from a physical and emotional component, it makes it much easier.

So why truly care about the emotional part? Based on a study conducted for American Express, it found that recipients of excellent customer service have the same cerebral reaction as if they were feeling loved. So now your customer, guest or principal feels happy and loved, and you've delivered excellent customer service.

And there's a bonus.

The positive correlation between delivering good customer service and a sense of general well-being is immense. Providing good customer service actually feels good. So as service providers, apart from our implicit goal of delivering exceptional customer service we should be striving to create more 'feel good' moments just for ourselves.

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Topics: Customer Service, Training, Consulting

Drawing a Luxurious Bath

Posted by Andrew Gayman on Jun 19, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Before you're thrown back into memories of a still life-drawing class, we're not suggesting you take pencil to paper and sketch a bathroom fixture. What we are suggesting is that you up your bath game, bubbles optional.

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Why we all need Spring Training

Posted by Andrew Gayman on Jun 18, 2018 8:00:00 AM

It's officially baseball season and we are just seeing the fruits of baseball spring training as home opening games are being played across North America. Spring training for most teams involves traipsing to a warmer climate, dusting off their gear and getting the players ready for the (un) official game of summer.

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Topics: Training, House Manager, Hospitality Skills

Are you loading your dishwasher correctly?

Posted by CMA Staff on Mar 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The invention of the dishwasher has been an extraordinary remedy to household chores. As butlers and household managers working in private homes, we rely on dishwashers to do the day-to-day heavy lifting while we can focus on other things.

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Topics: Hospitality Skills, House Manager, How to