A number of years ago, before becoming a camp director, I did quite a bit of work developing and conducting customer service training for a number of companies. One of my more challenging projects was trying to train dozens of high school kids, who worked for three local McDonald's, to provide good service. As I developed the training I looked for simple, easy to implement techniques that could be used in a variety of situations by any employee.
One of the techniques I taught was for employees to always under promise and over deliver. If an order would require a wait of two minutes, tell the customer it would be four minutes. What does the customer do? They look at their watch and start keeping track of time. When the order comes out at three minutes they're happy, even though it took longer than it should have. The goal was for the employee to create a customer expectation that could be met or even better, exceeded.
The under promise and over deliver technique is an easy way to help your staff who interact with the public to create a positive impression of your camp. If a someone calls and needs information that will requires someone to get back to them, under promise and over deliver. If you can get back with them the next morning, tell them it will be by the end of the day tomorrow. Then call in the morning and they'll be happy because you've exceeded their expectations. Need to e-mail someone information? Tell them it'll be by the end of the day and do it in the next couple of hours. Again, you''ll create a positive impression of your organization because you set and then exceeded expectations.
Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.