25 April 2023

Should you ask a project manager to identify some of the key success factors of a superyacht refit project, professional crew will appear on every list. The importance of keeping crew members on board who have experience of previous refit periods and who possess a good knowledge of the yacht, can be a difference maker. 

While fortunate to be in two privileged locations in Barcelona and La Ciotat favoured by crew for either being in the heart of a cosmopolitan city or surrounded by a stunning natural landscape, it is essential that both crew members as well as visiting providers are made to feel at home, allowing them to perform to their best. 

Our Customer Care team in both locations share a profound knowledge of the local area as well as a belief in fostering a familiar atmosphere for everyone entering our facilities just for a day or for months. Laura Tempe, MB92 La Ciotat Customer Care Manager, has lived in La Ciotat over a decade and believes that this gives her a valuable insight into how crew feel on arrival for the first time. “I came here initially as a tourist so have seen the town through their eyes and this can be of great help in advising them how to get the best from their stay. I fell in love with the Provencal culture and region, so I am always keen to share this passion and I hope some of it stays with our guests”. 

Central to the customer care approach is relationship building and, according to Laura, is a contributing factor in returning customers. “Ultimately, the role is to make people happy. This seems simple but involves a great level of attention to detail and empathy. Another important skill is that of bringing people together. If you can build a community spirit in the shipyard, between crews and other project stakeholders, people feel at home and a positive climate facilitates success for everyone. I often see crew members come back either on the same yacht or as part of a different crew and pick up relationships with other crew members that they forged during a previous refit period. For me, this is the real reward and demonstrates the added value that good customer care can provide.” 

Much has changed over the years in what clients want from a yard stay and this must be reflected in what is offered by the department. “We are seeing a real trend in healthy living and well-being on board. Crew are more likely to enquire about local sport and health activities than the nightlife hotspots. As such, we offer a range of activities and services throughout the year that meets these demands including bike services, walking and ski excursions, as well as tickets to sporting events.” Another area that is seeing growth is the trend towards personal and professional growth. MB92 Group provide access to a wide range of training opportunities at both sites. MB92 La Ciotat, through their partnership with La Belle Class Academy at the Yacht Club de Monaco, offer a number of certified on-site and remote course options and this recent agreement for Laura is such a plus for crews. “Often it can be difficult to align course dates with work requirements so to have access to course options during the yard stay through this recent partnership with La Belle Class opens up career development doors that otherwise may not have been possible.” 

Certainly, the role of the customer care department is playing an ever-greater part in decision making for clients when choosing a shipyard so is a great career opportunity for the right profile. According to Laura, the right profile can enjoy a dynamic and ever-changing day to day. “Being passionate about helping others, being available and being open-minded are all ingredients for success in this area. As well as an understanding that every request is important to the person asking no matter how minor it may appear”. 

For more information on our customer care department or to enquire about any of our MB92 Group locations, please contact us directly