Thursday, March 10, 2011
The Disney Team was in Haliburton this week to do a workshop on Customer Service and I really wish I had been able to attend it. I'm always open to new ideas and perspectives on how to offer the best service to my clients.
It is exciting that trainings like this are being brought to Haliburton because we will all benefit. Years ago I read a report by Disney and I know that one of their messages at that time with regards to customer service was "when you are on the stage - you are on - don't let your audience (clients) see behind the curtains." In other words, if you travel to Disney World and go up to meet Cinderella she will talk to you about the fancy ball, her stepsisters, the prince and the birds. She would never come out of character and tell you about her dog that bit the postman that morning, or the car that she bumped into at the grocery story. The idea is to keep the experience magical for the audience (the client) for the full duration of the experience. Disney has taken that philosophy and taught it to businesses of all kinds (cafés, restaurants, hotels etc.) People on vacation, or on time off want to feel like they are special, and having a "magical" experience. People come to Haliburton for many reasons - the beauty, the adventures, the art, the music, the drama, the camps, the resorts and the friendly people that live here. We welcome thousands of people every year into our county.
This past weekend I experienced an outstanding example of customer service. I attended the 3rd Annual Winter Folk Camp at Camp Wanakita as a participant in the choir workshop with Georgette Fry, and as a yoga instructor. I had so much fun. The 6 guest professional performers were talented on the stage, as instructors and, they were really nice people. The YMCA Wanakita staff were a dream to work and be with. They always said yes and were ready to pitch in and do anything. The food at Wanakita was superb. There were options for hearty meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. The food was delicious and plentiful. At the last lunch on the Monday, I was sitting with a couple of the participants who had come from Kingston - both retired teachers (a prof from Queens and a teacher from the school board). Theysaid to me "this weekend is amazing from every perspective, but I think it works so well because the organizing committee feels like a group of friends who love being together, and then include all the participants in the friendship." It's true. The group of people who work all weekend to make this event a success are connected in many ways in Haliburton County - through their love of music, involvement in the arts council, cross country skiing, canoe fm, the co-op, cycling, going to Those Other Movies etc. They are friends and they created such an ease that everyone could feel and be a part of it. We know that "word of mouth" is always the best marketing and it is a good thing - because it is hard to capture that kind of feeling on a poster or brochure. The participants will all return to their communities and tell their choirs, fiddle groups, guitar friends and other musicians (yes, there was an amazing ukele player at the camp) and the word will spread about this very magical experience. More good news going out into the world about beautiful Halibu! PS. I'll be going back to sing with Georgette next year. She was FANTASTIC!