This week was the start to Whistler Spirit – Live it …Give it.
The Whistler Spirit Program was implemented by the Chamber of Commerce many years ago – simply train the people on the front lines to meet and greet the tourist with enthusiasm, kindness, and most of all be helpful. If we carry out this goal the tourist will leave Whistler feeling good about their experience here. This customer service training module has several levels and runs over a three-month period. After all there are some 3500 people from around the world that emerge onto the Whistler scene and need to be groomed.
Another wonderful part of this program is it runs from the top down… The Whistler Chamber encourages owners and managers to enroll every year as well… It makes complete sense to re-energize yourself, clear out the cob webs and get a fresh new approach to the season. The Whistler Service Strategy aims to make sure Whistler delivers a level of service that creates memorable Whistler experiences.
Why would I do this?
I’d like to say we all love Whistler so much that we understand tourism is our bread and butter, thus creating a great resort experience is a no brainer… but not all things are that easy to understand… Instead we use another model that works very well… Reduced Ski Passes and discounts on food and gear…complements of Intrawest… Most kids come here for a season or two to ski, and in the summer for mountain biking. Yes the mountains draw our tourist but they also draw our local worker bees. The cost for admission to the hills is steep and thus we lure the employees into lessons of gratitude and appreciation. The savings can accumulate to more than $500… For a young skier that is big bucks and it surely can put a smile on any workers face…even if they have been up all night. I must admit the Chamber and their few employees do an exceptional job – I am more than sure all the people who pass through these Spirit Courses come out a better service man/woman.
This year the Chamber focused on “Connect – Assist – Exceed”
Connect – Be a great host!
Assist – Make it easy for the guest!
Exceed – Make the guest happy!
We know what a success model such as this means to Whistler and you can bet other resorts are increasing their standards to entice more tourism. With visitor numbers down all across North America we certainly need to make a good first impression. At the Tourism Whistler meeting last week it was said we need to market towards the tourist that has never been to Whistler before… broaden our horizons so to speak. I think when you live in a resort you should help out the tourist who’s map is up-side-down… or let the tourist cross in front of you without using the cross-walk… I mean really – people are on vacation, taking a break from the stress life is dishing out..not always thinking… they’re here having fun – lay off the horn too well ya!
My good friend Don thought it might be nice for the tourist who drives up from Seattle and parks in the Marketplace 2 hour parking a little to long…. to receive a Notice saying… “We can see from your license you’ve come a long way to be with us”… In the future remember parking is only 2 hours…consider this a warning…On the reverse have a choice of places they could go for a free coffee… once the coffee shop has 10 warning tickets they could go into the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and get a refund. Now that might make the tourist feel better about our resort..perhaps a little surprised in a good way… at the same time bringing people into the shops and restaurants. You get ideas like this from locals who have been here a long time and truly have a vested interest in the survival of Whistler… We just need to get together and come up with more ideas… then carry out some. http://www.whistler.ca/
The video link below says it all!