Yes, you read that correctly. We can all learn something from Wisconsin. Why? Their 2013 tourism numbers were great. Tourists are nothing but thrilled about their experiences in what’s known as “America’s Dairyland.”
Officials are crediting the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s award winning customer service program. According to the Wisconsin Radio Network, 6,500 people were trained in this program to create a top-of-the-line environment for visitors.
We can definitely take some lessons from their success:
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism states in its mission “to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun.” It’s not a product they’re selling, but rather an experience.
There’s an app for that!
Although having an app is not revolutionary, it does make life easier for a world of people with smartphones. The DOT has updated its app to include lists centered on your interests and proximity to potential destinations. But what really gets you are the “Brag Badges” awarded to you when you go to certain places. It’s customer-conscious with this interactive quality because the customer doesn’t like to just be told what to do. They can choose their own adventure.
You’re only as strong as your weakest link
90% of your employees might be great but the other 10% also represent your company in some form or another. All it takes is that one interaction with that less-than-enthusiastic (or rude) employee to set a customer off. Wisconsin recognizes this and educates everyone from DOT staff to local business owners about the tourism and hospitality industry. Investing in learning is never a bad thing.
Give a little, get a lot
It doesn’t take much to give a genuine smile. Customers can see inauthenticity from miles away. The DOT trains their staff to share personal experiences and local favorites so that visitors feel like they can trust the responses. That simple and real human interaction may be all it takes to get repeat customers.
Every customer is different
We have to realize that we may be endorsing the same product but not to the same person. People may be asking identical questions, but the answers they get shouldn’t always be the same. In Wisconsin they train their staff to ask the right follow-up questions so that they get to know their customers before answering the typical “What is there to do?” They individualize their answers because they recognize that they’re speaking to individuals.
The state has both an interactive DOT website and a visitor’s website. They provide resources on how they’re doing what they’re doing for just about anyone that is interested. They are active in posting regular blog posts and updating their social media accounts. They’ve even instituted monthly newsletters. They’re hitting customer experience out of the park. Let’s learn a thing or two, or five, from Wisconsin and pack your bags- because after browsing their content, you will want to go there too.
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