December 16, 2019
Dear CODA Member,
Hopefully this time of year everyone is getting to slow down a little bit from all the off season work of recruiting campers and staff for the summer. Even though our “Camp” work may be slowing down, if you’re like me, this time of year isn’t slow by any means (can you believe we’re already into December?). As I write this Larry’s Letter, I’m actually at another camp conference, sitting in my hotel room instead of being in one of the sessions (don’t tell anyone I skipped out!!).
I recently had the opportunity, though the Disney Institute, to tour back stage into the business workings of the home of the famous mouse, AKA… Walt Disney World. One interesting topic they kept pointing out for their customer service was their “Zone of Excellence Experience” in the areas they called “on stage”. This is anywhere their guests (not called clients or customers!) might be located while visiting their parks. Our guide kept emphasizing that on our tour, we would be in the areas they called “back stage” and not to be surprised if we passed some of their cast members (not called employees) who didn’t have their “Disney Smile” painted on their faces. It was important for Disney’s cast members have an area to decompress and relax, so when they were back “on stage”, they could be operating at 100% with all the high customer service expectations placed upon them.
This is an important lesson for all of us as we too, are in the customer relations business and need to be able to give our guests 100% of our best efforts when they arrive at camp (on stage). As soon as the new year has passed, we blink our eyes and all of a sudden it’s time for summer and we wonder where the winter and spring went. It happens to each and every one of us every year.
Be sure to take this time now and decompress. Spend time with family, because we know it’s almost impossible to do once we get into camp mode. Take a break, unwind to make sure your batteries are fully charged before the summer arrives, and spend this time focused on the ones close to you. In order to actually do this, it’s important that we, as strange as it sounds, find a way to “Just say NO” to items we may have obligated ourselves to that now stretch ourselves too thin. I know this is hard to do, but you have to find a way to keep your priorities in line and stay focused on what really matters to you. Remember, in order to give your guest their own “Zone of Excellent Experience”, just like the cast members on one of the worlds greatest stages, you have to have time to be able to be you.
Before I go, there are a couple of things I want to pass along to you to help make your summer a little easier. When I first started writing this, there was over a week remaining for the early bird discount. I’ve been so busy that I didn’t finish this letter until today, the day AFTER the early bird discount expired. (I need to take my own advice about slowing down!!) So as an offer of holiday spirit, I’ve talked the powers that be to extend the discount for 48 more hours! (Sometimes it pays to be the President!!) So take advantage of the CODACON 2020 early bird discount and save yourself some money. Use the button below and sign up today. We have an incredible group of speakers ready to share some best practices for running your businesses.
Last is an easy tip that hopefully you will never need. We all are aware of the possibility of unwanted visitors on our camp property, especially when we have guest in for the summer. Hopefully you won’t ever have the need to call in the authorities or first responders to help remedy the situation but if you ever do, make sure one of your camp radios (the owner or directors radio) has a frequency that is paired to the local authorities. This will help them as once they arrive at camp, they may not know the exact location where your horseback, waterfront or specific area they are needed is located. You can be giving first responders correct information directly from boots on the ground and decrease the response time for their arrival. This is easily done by contacting your local police or sheriff and give them the frequency you have dedicated for emergencies. It’s a great idea that hopefully never is needed. (The authorities would rather have this information directly from you also).
So on behalf of CODA, we hope everyone enjoys the Holliday season and has a safe and happy new year, no matter where you are for the holidays.
Thank you to all our CODA members and business partners and we look forward to seeing you in sunny San Diego in just a couple months!!