Most businesses see customer service as a way to bring their own company quality and profits to the next level. However, for some industries, the service customers receive may encompass a much broader impression overall. The hospitality industry is an example of an area where customer service in a single hotel or restaurant may spread over the reputation of the entire area. In Georgia, one county is attempting to drive that point home, with a new program designed to raise the bar on hospitality service to improve the impression of the entire county to guests.
I am Macon
The new “I am Macon” program was created by the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitor Center. The program is designed to help the entire hospitality industry in Macon bring their service quality to the next level. The county is hoping that by improving the level of service guests receive at hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions in Macon, it will increase the number of guests visiting the area in the future.
According to a report at the Telegraph, Macon hosted 110 convention groups during 2012. Those groups enjoyed stays in nearly 16,000 hotel rooms throughout the area. In addition, Macon boasted more than $300 million in the tourism spending last year, which translated into local tax revenue in excess of $8.5 million. According to the figures, tourism is big business in Macon County.
Although most of the visitors to the county reported that they were happy with their stay, the visitor’s bureau did find that many thought service was an issue. Now the bureau is on a mission to improve the quality of service across the industry, through their “I am Macon” program. The program offers training programs for employees of the tourism industry in the county. The idea is to teach all of the employees working in hotels, restaurants and other local businesses to become “tourism ambassadors” for the area.
Training Sessions Cover Area Facts
The three-hour training sessions included in the “I am Macon” program include plenty of facts and figures about the Macon area. Entertaining anecdotes about local events are also included in the training program. This information is designed to help all employees in local businesses become well-versed in the tourism draw of Macon, so that customers to the area will get a healthy dose of “Southern hospitality.”
The customer service training is free to employees of business included in the tourism industry. Training includes interactive material about Macon that helps employees deliver a higher level of service to customers visiting the city for the first time. Employees that complete the training will also be eligible to receive a free online newsletter from the visitor bureau, as well as a decal for their business advertising their participation in the program.
Training sessions will be held at central locations throughout the Macon area, including the Central Georgia Tech campus. Multiple sessions have already been scheduled, to ensure companies and employees can accommodate their various schedules. Teaching employees to be more than customer service reps, but ambassadors to the area where they work, is what “I am Macon” is all about.