Timm Slater

Timm Slater, executive director of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

It’s fall! Our thoughts turn to the World Series, cleaning gutters and getting ready for visitors. Isn’t it amazing to have pumpkins, turkey and Santa Claus in just over 60 days? Who do you expect to see for that family dinner or your tradition of storm or whale watching? So people travel, even in the fall.

If you think your business isn’t a tourist-related business, think again. In 2019, Coos County visitors spent $43 million on entertainment and recreation. They spent over $30 million in retail stores and another $26 million in grocery stores. In total, visitors spent some $277 million in Coos County and guess what, it’s your employees that keep them coming back.

Remember when a person who had one bad experience used to tell 10 other people about it? Over 15 years ago, Travel Oregon estimated that each bad experiences cost a community $20,000. With Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools, imagine what that costs equates to today.

Now imagine what great experiences can do for your business. Visitors spend more and stay longer if they feel welcome. Consumers will pay 10% more for a product or service from businesses that offer great customer service. Also, to replace an existing customer, your business spends five times more to attract a new one.

So, what can we do to get ready for this fall’s guests? Focus on customer service and visitor appreciation with your staff. Whether you use Travel Oregon or some other training source, it only takes a little time to make a big difference for your business and our community.

Remember: Our Business is Helping your Business. And like us on Facebook.

(Timm Slater is executive director of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information on your Chamber, email timmslater@oregonsbayarea.org.)

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