Transition Time

How are you using your transition time?

Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless .”

—Jeffery Gitomer

If your camp is anything like mine, you have begun some pretty familiar processes:

  1. Sorting through the lost-and-found bin -- 47 socks that don’t match, hoodies, shoes, and pillows.

  1. Transitioning to fall, winter, and spring sessions. For some this change has been mastered year after year. For others, the craziness never seems to bring a proper routine.

Whether you are an old pro or handling it for the first time, I’d like to share with you two thoughts that resonated strongly with me the first time I read them on a Disney Institute Twitter question-and-answer session.

Question #1

When does a good customer service experience become a great customer service experience?

Answer #1

A good service experience becomes great when it's tailored to the needs and missions of the individual . A good way to meet this ideal is to start thinking of your off-season clientele as VIPs -- Very INDIVIDUAL People -- and tailor their programs accordingly. From food service to transportation, activities to ambiance, know what they want and deliver it.

Question #2

What qualities do you expect a business you patronize to exhibit?

Answer: #2

What Disney hears from their guests is: 'Make me feel special, respect me, be knowledgeable about your products, and keep it simple."

I believe this applies to the camp world as well and, armed with data from the just completed summer sessions, I take pains to use this transition time study our business and see if it meets this criteria. I review our website, photo pages, registration process, answering machine message, paperwork, handbooks, evaluation forms, directions and instructions to see if they all deliver the message "You are special. We respect you and your time. We know what we are doing and talking about.”

Inevitably, I find things that we can do a little better and devise ways to improve them. Some of them work, some of them cause other problems, but overall we get better and better each year and, after all, isn't that the point?

Good luck with your transition period. Here's hoping these two questions might jump-start your creativity and help you dig up some new solutions to old problems.