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real life special


PEOPLE


POWER A big challenge for any business is hiring the right people. Alana and Rachel quiz Hana Potter on how she chooses, trains and treats her guides


FYM: What qualities do you look for when hiring guides for Muggle Tours? They have to be fans - that’s a priority. They also definitely need to have read all the books. Actors in particular suit this role really well; they’re a personal preference of mine probably because of their confidence. After seeing a candidate's CV I give them a call. If I think they have potential I’ll get them in for an interview. I'll give them an extract from the script and they present it to me, to give me an indication of what they would be like as a guide.


FYM: How do you train new guides? We’re hoping you use some sort of intense gruelling Potter camp Sadly not! I begin by giving new guides a set script. They learn it and present the entire tour to me, so I can make sure they are ready for members of the public.


FYM: Harry Potter appeals to such a wide age group. How do you entertain both adults and children? Once guides become familiar with the script they can embellish and expand on


different parts, depending on who is on the tour. For example, if the tour contains mostly children it becomes tailored more to that age group. Children always love to get


involved. Lots of them dress up - I love that! But that’s not to say we haven’t had adults who


From left: Hana, Alana, Rachel, Greg, Vithurshan


have got equally enthusiastic! On one of my tours a 30-something man turned up in a full wizard costume given to him by his wife, who didn’t dress up at all! I do love it when people dress up, although the kids do look a lot cuter than the adults.


FYM: Clearly Muggle Tours appeals to hardcore fans, but how do your guides engage those who come along who aren’t? In the past it wasn’t as well tailored to people who weren’t massive Harry Potter fans. But after a few reviews on TripAdvisor, saying that the tour was too Potter-focused, we now also include information about interesting sites in London which are en route.


FYM: So you altered your tours based on just a few reviews on Tripadvisor? Yes, I read all the reviews and I pay special attention to negative reviews as I can learn from them. However, I have to accept that with a customer service-based business you aren’t going to be able to please everyone. It’s hard not to take it personally when you get negative feedback but it’s a learning curve and all you can do is adjust as you go along.


FYM: With new types of Harry Potter tours emerging all the time how do you manage to stay ahead of the competition? Personally I don’t think it’s healthy to worry about competition too much. I’ve just always tried to do what I’m doing as well as I possibly can. ■


WORDS BY ALANA O’SULLIVAN AND RACHEL GOACHER


www.freshyoungmillionaire.com


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fresh young millionaire


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