It’s time to tune your skis and business |

It’s time to tune your skis and business

Alison Hubbard
Vail, CO, Colorado

With the anticipation of falling snow, the resorts’ openings and the guests’ arrival, the Vail Valley Partnership has developed fall programming to ensure your employees are ready for the height of the busy season.

Why? Providing exemplary customer service is essential for the Vail Valley to maintain its standing as one of the world’s preeminent ski resort communities. As an answer to the ongoing challenge of hiring and maintaining quality employees, the Partnership has developed a two-tiered customer service program your business may take advantage of: The Platinum Service Program and the bi-annual A View from the Top speaker series.

Platinum for a reason

The Platinum Service Program is, essentially, a secret shopping program. Now in its sixth year, the program expects to evaluate more than 100 individual business locations, providing owners and employees feedback on areas of service from the initial customer greeting to the final sale.

Participating businesses can customize the evaluation forms to target their needs. This year, the program has come full circle and now provides a year ’round option in addition to winter. Called PSP 365, this year-round program aims to ensure your employees are constantly growing and excelling. The program is also a way to motivate staff and provide them with incentives in return for stellar performance. This type of regular recognition helps maintain a steadier flow of quality, year ’round workers in the valley.

More customer service

In addition to the service program, the Vail Valley Partnership hosts a bi-annual speaker series that acts as a half-day professional development training session. Called “A View from the Top,” every speaker is an industry expert on core customer service principles. Presentations provide audience members with a renewed sense of motivation, inspiration and focus on how they attend to the customer.

Speaking Nov. 20 at our last A View from the Top event of the year will be Jackie Freiberg, co-author of three well-reviewed business books, including the just-released “Boom! 7 Choices for Blowing the Doors off Business-As-Usual.”

Seven choices

“Boom!” is different from other customer service approaches. Jackie presents seven choices employees can make to better their business by increasing the quality of service provided. The “Boom!” approach also betters the employees’ lives at work. This allows employees to feel empowered and to take ownership and accountability on the job. As Vail Valley business owners begin to staff lodges, retail stores and restaurants for the season, it is important to ensure workers are empowered to make the right decision for the guest.

Jackie will, in the end, challenge your business to make the “Boom!” choices. If you take Jackie up on the challenge, your entire business staff will have the opportunity to make a difference in the business every day.

Jackie’s husband and co-author, Kevin Freiberg, spoke in the Vail Valley, at June’s View from the Top to rave reviews and we’re excited to welcome the second half of this dynamic duo to town. The Partnership, recognizing the importance in investing in your staff’s future, encourages business owners and management to attend this keynote with their front-line staff who often have the first encounter with the customer.

After all, like yourself, your business has only one chance to make a first impression.

The Partnership hopes to see you all at A View from the Top Nov. 20 at the Vilar Performing Arts Center from 8 to 11 a.m.

Contact Cameron Lowe at or 477-4001 to R.S.V.P. or 476-1000 for general Partnership information. Preparing for the ski season can be as busy as the season itself, but taking the time to prepare your staff is as essential as a fresh coat of paint, the perfect window display, a new feature menu option, or even as the current interest rates.

Alison Hubbard is partnership director at the Vail Valley Partnership.

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