Putting a face on great customer service | AspenTimes.com

Putting a face on great customer service

The phrase “customer service” has become such a cliché it has practically lost meaning. This is unfortunate because it remains a fundamental part of a healthy business culture, especially in a resort town that competes for every guest. Excellent customer service makes for repeat customers, who have long been Aspen’s core clientele.This week, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and the town of Snowmass Village announced a new initiative to improve guest services in the upper Roaring Fork Valley. It’s a perfect programmatic fit for the local chamber, and it’s admirably proactive. The Faces of Aspen/Snowmass also appears to be a serious and multifaceted program going beyond mere lip service.First, research examined how well businesses in the upper valley were meeting customers’ needs. The marks were good, but not surprisingly showed room for improvement. Occasional letters to the editor support the conclusion that Aspen tends to provide good service, but is also known for being uppity and exclusive.So, what do ACRA and the town of Snowmass Village intend to do?• It’s going to provide training, not just once a year but periodically.• It’s going to recognize good customer service with on-the-spot, monthly and seasonal rewards for locals who capture guests’ attention.• It’s going to follow up on complaints, not only by responding directly to the source of the gripe but also by forwarding the information to the business in question and suggesting some action.Some will roll their eyes at the news that ACRA is pursuing this initiative. This is hardly the first time guest service has been thrust forward as a community priority. But ACRA and Snowmass Village recognize this; in its booklet titled “How to Aspen/Snowmass,” it cites a longstanding local tradition of fun, community pride and hospitality.Regardless of how grumpy Aspenites may get about the traffic on Highway 82 or the ridiculous cost of living, most of us would agree the community must absolutely present a friendly face to the rest of the world.It’s encouraging and refreshing to see local business representatives carrying this torch in a new and serious way. We would urge individual businesses to support the program, adopt a new emphasis on guest service and to participate by nominating great service-providers for monthly and seasonal awards.

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