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Vail chamber director offers helpful hints for hiring

Richard tenBraakVail, CO, Colorado

It looks like Mother Nature is finally giving us some of the warmer weather we have been waiting for as we shift gears into summer. I’m glad to see some of my landscaping finally coming to fruition. It’s also great to see more activity in and about Vail, Colorado. Springtime has traditionally seen the reduction in the hours that local businesses are open and even the occasional complete closure. In the future, the Vail Chamber & Business Association will try to work with the town of Vail, Vail Resorts and local businesses to see what we can do to offer more to our visiting guests. We all know that springtime can provide some challenging weather, but that’s no reason we can’t stay active and vibrant and be known as a year ’round destination. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them with us.As summer starts, it’s also important to keep in mind that we need to continue to provide great customer service. With that in mind, I’d like to share some ideas by Shep Hyken, who works with companies that want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. Hyken was also the guest speaker at the fall merchant pass program presentation, and is the author of “Moments of Magic,” “The Loyal Customer” and the Wall Street Journal best-selling book “The Cult of the Customer.”How do you get employees engaged in your process, beliefs, mission and vision? Here are some answers:• Hire right. You need the right people in the right jobs.• Properly train your employees in both technical and soft skills.• Recognize people when they are successful.• Celebrate success with the entire organization. Share great stories.• Create a learning environment. When employees do well applaud them. When there is a mistake, make it a positive learning experience.• Recognize that everyone is involved in customer service, not just the customer service department, and it starts at the very top of the organization. Customer service is not a department, it is a philosophy.• Be polite and show respect. Say please, thank you and let your people know you appreciate their hard work.• Finally, practice what I call the “Employee Golden Rule” – treat your employees the way you want your customers treated – maybe better.To learn more about Hyken’s customer service tips or review some of his past articles and videos, go to: http://www.hyken.com or http://www.TheCustomerFocus.com.The Vail Chamber & Business Association is the leading business advocacy group in Vail and is a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and what it has to offer, contact us at 970-477-0075 or e-mail info@vailchamber.org. Based in Vail Village, our office is located in the transportation center and our doors are open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Stop by and say hello!Richard tenBraak is Executive Director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association.


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