National Extension Tourism (NET): 2021 Conf. Proceedings

focus enables the farm team to deliver consistent service that improves the customer experience. This innovative system for customer service starts with having the business examine current stereotypes, expectations, and enable the agritourism business to develop an improved customer service plan. This system includes four steps to providing excellent, awesome customer service. These steps are: 1. Prepare – examine current expectations and stereotypes of the business; develop a plan including all possible interactions 2. Respond- Empower all employees to assist, provide trainings and incentives, align performance assessment with customer experience. 3. Recover – Things will go wrong; have a plan for potential customer service fails. Designate who is in charge. Communicate, understand it is a long-term relationship, not just about the issue at hand. Fix things with the relationship mind. 4. Improve Practices – Update the plan, prepare for next time, Anticipate future customer service issues.

1. Prepare

Quality customer service can change with business sector and customer base, but it all starts with knowing the product and values of the business. To position the business to provide consistent awesome customer service it is important to keep focused on the core product, mission, values and the “Why” of the agritourism business. Starting with an internal focus, the agritourism business will know their product, how to position themselves in the market, and how to communicate the company brand to customers. This will help the agritourism business set realistic expectations of their customers. One business cannot be all things to all people. Trying to do so invites negative customer experiences. Once a business has defined itself, the business needs to operationalize their values. They need to define how an employee will behave to reflect a certain value. How a value will look to the customer, and most of all how that behavior, will make the customer feel. It is vital for employee hiring and training for an agritourism business to build their operational processes from their values. This will help the business hire the right people and develop training to help them succeed.

2. Respond

The employee interview process is a vital start to awesome customer service. Agritourism businesses need to ensure they select employees that will reflect the organizational culture through their behaviors. To do this the interview process must reflect the customer service organizational culture of the

2021 NET Conference Proceedings


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