Worried about the effects of a depressed economy on this year’s ski season? I have one question for you: WWYDIAWO? (What would you do in a white out?) Seriously. If there’s one group of people that knows how to get themselves out of gnarly situations, it’s skiers and snowboarders. So ask yourself right now, what would you do? Would you just keep skiing or boarding along with nary a care in the world? Or would you pause for a few minutes to take a good hard look around? Telus webmail down
Still with me? Let’s say the current economic meltdown is your white out. On clear and sunny days you’re so busy charging ahead, there’s little time to stop, assess the situation and make adjustments or improvements in your business. But right now the bad economy is a swirling cloud that’s obstructing your view. It’s forcing you to stop charging ahead and have a good hard look around. And one of the things you’re seeing, maybe more clearly than ever, is how the people at your resort interact with your customers. You witness, for example, a less-than-brilliant exchange between an employee and a customer. You’re shocked and surprised. You think, “Gosh, I thought that guy (or gal) was better than that.” And you want to do something about it. Right now.
Luckily, exceptional customer service is one of the few things that don’t necessarily require you to spend large amounts of money. The fact is you can greatly improve your resort’s level of customer service in any economy. In doing so, you can develop ardent customer advocates who ensure your revenues keep coming in no matter what the economic weather may be.
Build yourself a substantial base
Just as great runs are built an inch of snow pack at a time, smooth, consistent customer service requires a carefully built foundation. It’s surprising how many resort leaders believe great customer service is something that is merely applied to the surface of an organization. You make a simple pronouncement, “Smiles everyone!” and marvelous customer service magically appears.
The truth is, for customer service to be authentic it must be strategically implanted in the resort’s bones. And that requires planning. Just as you have detailed plans for lift operations, grooming, marketing, accounting and F&B you need a detailed plan for customer service. A plan that describes how stellar customer service will be incorporated into every business area and job function. Whether an individual is in a customer facing position or works behind the scenes serving “internal customers” you should nail down clear and measurable objectives for how that person can and will positively affect the overall service your guests receive.