In the south, we are known for our charm and hospitality. But does that really translate to your town? Have you ever looked at your town through the eyes of a visitor? Try asking the cashier at a local shop or gas station what there is to do around here. What they say and how they say it can affect a visitor’s whole experience. Here are our tips on making your town more hospitable from the inside out.
1. Improve the moment of truth.
A moment of truth in customer service is the first point of contact or interaction between a customer or visitor and gives them the first opportunity to form an impression. Get the moment of truth down, and you’ve got yourself a welcoming committee for the town. Oakridge, Oregon is a shining example of how to make this a reality.
2. Strive for excellence.
This seems simple enough, but with the constant communication available through social media, you have to think out of the box and step up your game a bit. Just look at what Mortons did here...
3. Handle complaints efficiently and gracefully.
Again, social media has forced how you deal with complaints to change dramatically. Responding as quick as possible to grievances on social media is vital. Also, no matter if the complaint comes through Twitter or a phone call, always offer a solution. Even weather complaints…yes those happen. “The event rained out, my sweet daughter Susie cried all day!”. Offer sweet Susie a complimentary ice cream ticket for the local parlor. When she’s there, capture the moment on your smart phone with #savedsusiesday or something equally as clever, and you have turned a negative into a positive for only $2.99.
4. Listen harder.
Some people would rather not complain to your face. While that sentiment is very nice, it’s important what people are saying behind your back as much as they do to your face. Utilize the search functions on all social media. Respond if you have a solution, but always take note of what they are saying and see how you can improve.
5. Play nice in the sandbox together.
As we like to say, it’s not about selling cheese it’s about providing an excellent sandwich! Whether you are a business, a town, or a destination marketing organization, encouraging cooperative marketing opportunities is paramount to being a hospitable community. Unless you have Disney Land in your town, it is the entire experience and not just you that are attracting visitors. This means reaching across Main Street, city lines, and county boundaries to think of partnership potential.
If you’re interested in how RevealSC can help you with custom hospitality training, contact us today!