The Mountain Times

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One Killington: Improving guest experiences together

Of course, Killington is known for its snow, its vast number of trails and skiable acres, its entertainment, parties, and deals. But one thing affects the guest experience more than all of these: Customer service, explained Tracy Taylor, director of operations for Pico Mountain, at the Annual Killington Chamber Meeting, Oct. 18.

"Our single most important survey metric asks the simple question: 'How likely are you to recommend the Killington Resort Community to a friend, family member, or colleague?'" he said during his presentation.

How customers rate their likelihood to recommend the Killington Resort Community to a friend, family member, or colleague gives the resort a Net Promoter Score (NPS.)

For the 2011/2012 season, Killington Resort scored 64.7%-16th out of 28 New England resorts.

Killington is determined to improve this telling metric and has launched a "community-wide customer service initiative" as part of their efforts to create "One Killington."

"We know the guest experience is based on their entire experience here," said Taylor. "7 out of 10 customers who use the resort facilities are visiting one of your businesses," he told Killington Chamber members.

In an effort to "galvanize the region" Taylor outlined a cooperative goal: improve Killington Region's NPS to 71% for the 2012/2013 season. This would match the average score for a resort nationwide. In three years, he said, the goal is to grow Killington's promoters to 85%.

HOW IT WORKS
Customers respond to the question: "How likely are you to recommend the Killington Resort Community to a friend, family member, or colleague?" on a 0-to-10 point rating scale and are categorized as follows:
•    Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
•    Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers. They are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
•    Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative communications.

NPS is calculated by taking the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtracting the percentage who are Detractors.
Proponents of the Net Promoter approach claim the score can be used to motivate an organization to become more focused on improving products and services for customers. The Net Promoter approach has been adopted by several highly successful companies, including GE, Apple Retail, American Express and Intuit.

The NPS will be be calculated bi-monthly as soon as enough data is collected to make the score statistically relevant. These scores will be shared with the community through the Chamber of Commerce.

"What's in it for you?" Taylor asked the audience at the end of his presentation. "One Killington; One Vision!" and more revenue growth! A company's Net Promoter Score has been shown to strongly correlate with revenue growth, loyalty and positive long-range business development.

So what do you say, Killington?

It's a simple concept and a simple goal; but it will require cooperation, support, a bit of patience and a good deal of passion-driven commitment to raise the bar.