In most rural communities, the visitor center is open a few hours a week IF there is one. So every business in town becomes a visitor center.
In the eyes of your customers, the kid checking them out up front is an expert, not only in your business, but also in your town. It becomes your responsibility to give that worker the training and information to be able to fill this important role.
You probably already do a great job of educating them about your business. But how well are you educating them to answer questions about your town?
Whether you are a restaurant, motel, retail store, or adventure guide, in a small town, your employees need to be encouraged and even rewarded for giving out friendly, helpful information to visitors. It could make the difference between a visit of a few hours or a few days.
They will field interesting and unusual questions like, “When will it start to snow? (asked in the middle of August). But the three most asked questions are:
1. What is there to do around here?
2. Where is a good place to eat?
3. Where is a good place to stay?
To help your workers provide the best possible customer service, use your break room area for informal training.
- Have a friendly contest, asking workers to post their own answers to the three listed questions with a short description to support their choices. After a week, ask everyone to vote for their three favorite answers to each question. Reading all the answers will help everyone learn more about your town and become a better visitor resource.
- Post a graph to keep track of how many customer questions each worker answers each day for a week. Each worker posts his or her own information.
- Ask workers to share the most unusual question they had to answer in a week, and how they answered it.
Prizes should be simple and fun to encourage workers to take pride in their new role.
Many small town businesses have only 3 to 5 workers. By creating a place to post the above information, everyone receives training without special meetings or formal costly training sessions.