The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado which represents Chaffee County recently recognized local rafting outfitter Wilderness Aware Rafting as one of six recipients of the “2012 Excellence Award for Customer Service”. The award was presented at a gala event at the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, which was attended by nearly 400 people.
This comprehensive program was created in 1995 to recognize companies that exemplify excellent customer service which ultimately results in making our community a better place to live.
Wilderness Aware Rafting completed an internal audit questionnaire that required extensive documentation of customer service processes. They documented everything from employee hiring and training to services provided to rafting guests. An independent team of three evaluators also spent most of a day at Wilderness Aware’s facility inspecting all aspects of customer service.
The site visit impressed the team: “Of note is the attention to detail in all areas of operation including the cleanliness of the equipment and the facility’s organization to cleanse and dry equipment for its next use. Reinvestment in the facility was apparent- the facility grounds were impressive, clean and welcoming both inside and outside.”
The evaluators provided a written review as feedback on the documentation and the site visit and concentrated on seven categories: Vision and mission, customer service plan, customer and market assessment, customer service measurement, employee education and motivation, customer service processes, and results of continuous improvement.
They commented “The strengths of Wilderness Aware’s mission exist because of the tight-knit management group, the communication between the management team and employees, a low turnover rate of seasonal staff and a strong commitment by all employees to create a memorable experience for their customers.
“The team environment fosters ownership from all levels of the organization, from post-trip meetings, senior guide meetings and pre-season meetings. The return rate of comment cards from each customer, no matter the age, is a huge benefit, as it provides insight into how customers viewed their experience, and allows quick response to issues that arise.”
Regarding the company’s quality of employees, the report stated “The hiring process is a huge contributor to the overall customer service experience. Wilderness Aware prides itself on hiring team members who are engaged and take ownership of their role in the rafting experience. These areas of ownership include being able to engage and speak to customers, keep customers safe, and strategically think and plan for any challenges that might arise throughout the trip.”
In summary, the team noted “The seasonal employees are supported by customer service processes that have been developed and improved over several years. Customers are ‘top of mind’ in the organization. Participating in the ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ program indicates commitment to continuous customer service and differentiates them from the competition.”