Perhaps it seems like a silly question to ask a Canadian, given our reputation, but are we?
Where we might do better is with the tourists and visitors who come to visit and take in our beautiful sights or attend an event. Tourism is a huge industry on Vancouver Island. We take for granted what we are surrounded with on a daily basis.
Do we make it easy for tourists to find the attractions or make them feel welcome by engaging them in conversation? I remember being in Portland, Oregon a number of years ago at a Rotary International convention and was blown away by the openness of the City. Every store had a ‘Welcome Rotarians’ sign in the window. There were events and entertainment in the streets and transportation was in abundance. Stores that would normally be closed on those days were open for business.
It isn’t that long ago when businesses in our city would complain about lack of business but stay closed on a Sunday when a cruise ship was in dock. We are better now and I see a few businesses where staff are out front greeting cruise ship passengers as they stroll through our beautiful city. We now have ambassadors who are on the streets answering questions when the ships are in and at special events.
But perhaps we can do more. What about the everyday visitor who comes to town, whether for business or pleasure? What can we do to make them want to come back? Perhaps welcome signs, staff training, not only in how to engage customers, but in the amenities of the area. At one time there used to be a locally run Super Host program that staff were encouraged to take.
If you are in business, you never know who the unfamiliar customer or client is. Each one of them, should be treated as a potential customer. Most of the new residents to Vancouver Island fell in love with the island because of a visit. If your business made them feel welcome as a visitor, then you may gain a new customer when they move here.
“Customers may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Unknown
As individuals, engage the obvious visitor, take an interest in who they are and where they are from. A simple smile and friendly face can accomplish much!
As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.