Vail takes steps to improve customer service | SteamboatToday.com

Vail takes steps to improve customer service

Town, resort conduct weekly surveys to gauge guest experiences

Lauren Glendenning/Vail Daily

— When the Vail Town Council heard that Vail was criticized for having "too much attitude" in Ski Magazine's resort ranking poll, the town pushed for a look at its guest services and how to improve them.

Councilman Andy Daly said at Tuesday's visioning meeting that people's perception of Vail is critical to its success and that "too much attitude" isn't something he wants associated with Vail.

Since the most recent Ski Magazine resort rankings came out, which placed Vail in the No. 3 spot overall, the town has paired up with Vail Mountain Operations to get weekly reports in four guest service categories: ease of parking, the timelines of buses, the friendliness/helpfulness of bus drivers and guest service personnel.

Vail Mountain surveyors use hand-held survey machines and electronically record about 200 surveys every week. The most recent results, for the week of Jan. 3 to 10, show most categories are generally on the rise in terms of satisfaction. Drops in satisfaction are seen mostly during busy holiday weeks.

Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz told the Vail Town Council on Tuesday night that the company is committed to guest services, noting that Vail Mountain recorded its highest marks ever in its company's own surveys for that category in the 2008-09 winter season.

Liz Biebl, spokeswoman for Vail Mountain, said the company looks at guest services on Vail Mountain in terms of all the departments that interact with guests, which it measures through surveys.

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Katz said that now, more than ever, guest services are crucial.

"This is the lowest snow year since 1980," Katz said. "We all know that presents huge challenges in terms of guest experience."