Celebrating PA State Parks and Forests Week

Snippet: PA State Parks and Forests Week is a time to get outside and play. It is also a time to consider the other benefits our public lands provide to us – and to give back to them in a way that lets you use your “outside voice.”

by Pam Metzger, PA Parks & Forests Foundation

I bet your mother said the same thing to you as mine to me when I posted a question about there not being a “Kids” day if there was a “Mothers Day” and a “Fathers Day.” “Because EVERY DAY is Kids Day,” she’d say.

You might react the same way to the idea of celebrating PA State Parks and Forests Week. When you are immersed in outdoor recreation, EVERY week is Parks and Forests Week! However, in 2018 (the 125th anniversary of the state parks and forests systems), the week between May 23 and May 30 was officially designated as such by Proclamation of the Governor.

And the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation has been encouraging its celebration ever since.

Why those dates? May 23 represents the anniversary of the establishment of the Commonwealth’s first state park. And while Valley Forge has now gone on to become a national park, the area was designated as a state park first – on May 23, 1893.

And May 30? That is the date on which the Forestry Commission was formed by the General Assembly tasked with forest fire and to establish a forest reserve system. Their first purchase of 7,500 acres in Clinton County (which eventually became Sproul State Forest) happened five years later.

What does it mean to “celebrate” the state parks and forests? Chances are good that you will take any excuse you have to go out and enjoy the public lands near you. After all, Department of Forests and Waters (now DCNR) Secretary Maurice K. Goddard made it the goal of the agency to place a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian. So you don’t have to work hard to find one of Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks or 20 forest districts.

Still, “celebration” takes on a few forms additional to recreation. We – as you – take care to remind everyone that time spent in the outdoors is vital to our health and well-being. In fact, we commissioned the creation of several videos on the subject of the outdoors and emotional, mental, and physical health, including one in Spanish. Find them (and share them, please) on our YouTube channel, easily accessed at https://ppff.online/utube-playlist-benefits-videos (along with a video on the economic benefits of those same outdoor spaces).

Finally, to celebrate the outdoors means to “use your outside voice” to speak for those places. Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests alone face a $1.4 billion backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects. Unstable dams, accessible recreation amenities no longer wheelchair or stroller friendly, trees lost to invasive species like hemlock wooly adelgid or emerald ash borer, restrooms and other buildings crucial to visitor contentment compromised. The opportunity to recapture some of that deficient backlog, in the form of $175 million from the American Rescue Plan, is within our reach.

Let’s all celebrate PA Parks & Forests Week by encouraging our state representatives and senators to support HB 2020 and SB 525. Go to https://ppff.online/take-action to send a message.

Mind your margin

I used to have an annoying tendency to agree to anything that’s far enough in advance.

My bad habit would kick in whenever I looked at my planner and found a blank space during the requested time. Nothing there? Looks like we’re good to go!

Then the future would show up, and I’d discover that once again I’d overbooked my time, attention and energy—to my physical, mental and spiritual detriment.

You’d think I would have caught on quicker, but it took me several decades to learn to reserve the necessary margin I need in my life.

I’ve finally come to view such demands differently, even when my calendar is open, because I can honestly answer that I already have another commitment at that time—to myself!

May is Mental Health month. Do yourself a favor. Give yourself a break.

Tips for Reducing the Cost of Car Maintenance

by PSECU

Between fuel, insurance, and monthly payments, owning a vehicle can get expensive. Fortunately, you can reduce your costs when you take a more hands-on approach to car maintenance.

So, how can you reduce your trips to the mechanic and keep your car in good condition? Here are a few tips that will save you money, regardless of whether your car is new or used.

Learn How to Perform Simple Maintenance Tasks Yourself

If you do your research beforehand, you may be able to perform a few car maintenance tasks yourself.

Some of the simplest maintenance tasks you can perform at home include changing your oil and air filters. Oil is essential to your car’s operation and changing it regularly can prevent accumulated contaminants from creating friction in the engine. When you’re changing your oil, consider replacing the air filters as well.

By learning how to perform just these two maintenance tasks yourself, you can save at least one to two trips to the mechanic annually. Of course, you’ll want to check the owner’s manual before you start.

Check the Owner’s Manual for Maintenance Schedules

Your owner’s manual will give you a straightforward schedule for different car maintenance tasks, generally going by a system of months or miles. For example, an owner’s manual might state that you should check the coolant every 12 months or 12,000 miles – whichever comes first.

When you take your car in for maintenance, it’s crucial to keep the information found in your owner’s manual top of mind. Your service provider may recommend services outside of those recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

You may want to get a second opinion before accepting additional services that your manufacturer doesn’t list in your owner’s manual.

Manuals should include plans for when to check and maintain the following components:

  • Engine oil
  • Coolant levels
  • Transmission fluid
  • Air filters
  • Engine belts
  • Batteries
  • Headlights

If you don’t currently have an owner’s manual, you may be able to find the information for your car’s model and year online or by contacting a dealership. Having an authentic owner’s manual for your vehicle will be useful for scheduling specific services in the future.

Search Online for Coupons from Popular Chains

No matter how much maintenance you can perform yourself, there will still be times when you need to have your car looked at by a professional. Popular auto shop chains tend to have online coupons that you can use to save money on car maintenance. Many auto shops have sales around Memorial Day, Labor Day, and New Year’s.

Of course, it’s important to research the chain that you choose for maintenance. Just because you may have found a coupon doesn’t mean there aren’t other auto shops with great deals and excellent service at a lower price. You’ll also want to consider which chains have the most experience working with your make and model of vehicle.

Take Advantage of Dealer Perks

If you bought your car from a dealership, your purchase may have included perks for saving on maintenance done by their service department. For instance, you may have oil changes included for the first two years or a set number of miles. Additionally, some dealers may provide a loaner vehicle at no cost while your car is in the shop. Even if the base cost for maintenance is higher, it could end up saving you more in the end if you would otherwise need to pay for a rental.

To maximize your savings, be sure you know what you’re entitled to and also inquire about any price matching the dealership may offer if you find the service advertised for a lower price elsewhere.

Seek Out a Second Opinion if Costs Are Too High

If you’re not knowledgeable about auto parts and maintenance, it can be hard to tell what recommendations you should follow and what you can put on hold when you take your car in for work. To help with this, you can reference your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule to give you some general guidance on when certain parts should be repaired or replaced.

If you’re unsure about the services being recommended by your mechanic, you may want to visit another auto shop for a second opinion. You may find that other shops can maintain your car at a much lower cost or that the services suggested by a previous mechanic aren’t necessary. When you’re in doubt about a recommendation, a second opinion can save you money.

Know When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Vehicle maintenance is an important part of car ownership, but there will come a point when the work your car needs exceeds its value.

If you find yourself in this position, we can help get you in a car that meets your needs and budget. Our auto loans are available for new or used vehicles and offer flexible terms and competitive rates.

The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.

Planning a Website Redesign?

Helpful prep and planning ideas

Thinking of redesigning your website? It’s a big step that can be a daunting idea before the actual process even begins – even more so when you’ve never undertaken this process before. While I don’t specialize in website redesign, I have been through the process and I found the following considerations helpful to act on prior to the actual redesign process taking place.

Assessment

Go through your current website and, page by page, consider what works on your current site, what isn’t working, and think about how that can be improved. 

Mapping

I found it helpful to sketch out a map, or site structure of your new website. What would you like for your new site to visually look like? How would menu items and pages be structured? Search out websites of similar organizations and do a deep dive into some of them. Take notes of what you like and consider how this could work on your new website. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for insight into how they approached the design of their website, especially if you like the functionality of their specific website. 

Goals

Your website should reflect the goals and mission of your organization. Approach the redesign of your website as you would a strategic plan. Be intentional with your objectives and consider how your website can help to achieve your organization’s goals. 

Insight

Talk to members of your team about what they would like to see on the new website. While it’s good to have a set, specific team dedicated to the redesign process, getting feedback from staff or even volunteers in your organization can be invaluable to gaining different perspectives on how the new website can be better utilized.

Tips for building committees

by Gwenyth Loose, CPRP, Executive Director, York County Rail Trail Authority

Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

Recently, I proposed to our chairman a new committee to be charged with reorganizing and growing our Friends of York County Rail Trails. His response, “Won’t that make more work for you?” gave me pause to recalculate and rethink my idea.

Do committees facilitate or complicate our parks & recreation work? How can we empower committees to take on specific work and keep them on task? And most importantly, as we emerge from months of pandemic “numbness,” how do we energize our committees without depleting our own reserves of energy?

Looking over my own experiences as director of the York County Rail Trail Authority, I offer a few strategies.

  1. Clearly communicate the committee’s objective(s). Write a concise description of the objective(s) and review and revise with your board. Review the objective(s) annually with the committee members.
  2. Establish core representatives while allowing for open seats on the committee. Set a maximum size for the committee, and identify specific skills, talents, and experiences needed in order for the committee to succeed in its work.  Consider a few seats on the committee for those who may be limited in their core function but are great champions of your agency and its work. Establish procedures for bringing members onto the committee.
  3. Establish a committee organization. No need for formal officers, but it is helpful to recruit a chairman to keep meetings focused on the agenda. A secretary may relieve you of writing and circulating meeting notes.
  4. Set and publish meeting schedules. Establish a regular meeting day and time, and determine how often the committee will meet. Popular meeting schedules are monthly or quarterly, depending on the amount of work to be assigned to the committee. Email a meeting reminder to the members approximately one week prior to each meeting. Include a tentative agenda with this reminder. Print the annual meeting schedule at the bottom of each agenda as a reminder.
  5. Set agendas that are manageable, meaningful and “meaty.” Keep meeting length to 1 or 1 ½ hours. Start promptly and finish on time. Indicate agenda items that require committee action. Acknowledge with your thanks those whose schedules require that they will arrive late or leave early.
  6. Show appreciation-Demonstrate value. Little ceremonies, certificates of appreciation, and celebrating results are meaningful ways to remind committee members of their value to the agency. Gather relevant statistics, such as number of attendees or funds raised at a special event, and share with the committee. Share successes and collectively evaluate shortcomings – both are valuable experiences.
  7. Capitalize on the social benefits of committee work. Serving on a committee is a great opportunity to make new friends with those that often have common interests. Encourage those little conversations before and after meetings. Serve refreshments 15 minutes before the meeting. Plan a park or trail tour in place of a meeting, or hold a meeting at a park pavilion.
  8. Never stop recruiting. Engage current members in recruiting new members. Invite prospective members to attend a meeting or two as a guest, encouraging them to then speak to the chairman if they have interest in joining the committee. Introduce a level of comfort for those who may want to learn more about the committee without an obligation to join. And actively engage in recruitment methods focused on diversity across the entire population that your agency serves.

Our parks and recreation work is always evolving, as we strive to keep our projects and programs relevant and inviting to the public. Committees require careful guidance, nurturing, and oversight. In exchange, committees can take on specific tasks to reduce our workloads, expand our program offerings, and even increase revenue. In short, committees are worth our investment of time and resources, and those who volunteer to serve on committees enrich our parks and recreation community.

PRPS Members “Level Up” This Spring!

by Jennifer Fean, CPRP, CPP, Northampton Township, 2021 Leadership Academy participant

“What’s Your Engagement Score?”  That is the question that members will start to hear this Spring!  PRPS and the 2021 Leadership Team have collaborated to introduce an exciting, new incentive program encouraging all current members to “Level Up” their engagement this Spring. 

The “Level Up” program is designed to add points to a PRPS member’s engagement score.  Every time a Parks and Recreation professional and member of the Pennsylvania Parks and Recreation Society volunteers, they will receive a certain amount of points.  Those points are added to the engagement score on your member profile under the “Engagement” tab.

Every time an active member of PRPS joins a committee, attends a webinar or conference, writes an article or a blog post, earns a certificate or simply logs in to the PRPS website www.prps.org, points will be added to the volunteer’s engagement score!

Networking and engagement are crucial in any profession, but in Parks and Recreation, the best ideas are born when information is shared and ideas are merged.  Engaging with other professionals to achieve a common goal not only benefits the task at hand but fosters the community and allows growth in the work that we do.

Take advantage of the many opportunities PRPS offers to further professional development, enhance skills, connect with peers, or volunteer for a committee and build up those points!  Earn enough points and members can earn a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Badge.

Each time a professional earns a “Level Up” badge, their name will be entered in a drawing.  At the Bronze or Silver level, earn a t-shirt, water bottle, or other awesome PRPS swag.  Each awarded Gold Badge honoree will be entered in a drawing to win a free conference that year!  Can your district earn the most gold badge members?  Start getting engaged now, because points reset every year!

What are you waiting for? Login to www.prps.org and Level Up now! PRPS challenges members to volunteer and get involved on a committee, run for a leadership position on a branch or in your district, or compete within your office or district to gain the most points1  For complete information, a list of opportunities and point values, visit the “Level Up” page at www.prps.com/levelup.  Stay ahead of your colleagues!  Level Up today!

Moving Forward at the PRPS Conference & Expo

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

― Walt Disney Company

Looking back, while moving PA Forward is the 75th Conference Tag Line.  While looking back – I have many fond memories of friends, learning, all while having an absolute blast getting to know some of the most amazing people in Parks and Recreation in PA. I would be remiss to start naming names, and locations, as being one of the Baby Boomers of this organization, the days and years really do start to run together.  One aspect that does remain constant is the faces of those that have assisted me, and the community in which I live to keep moving forward, opening new doors, and attempting new things!

So with the 75th conference around the corner, I would like to really encourage you to take the time right now, to reach out to PRPS colleague(s) or friend(s) that you haven’t had the time to converse with over the past two years, and set up a time to meet at the conference to meet up and share ideas, learn from and simply network.

There are many benefits of attending a conference, but personally, over many years, the one that has assisted me the most would be the networking opportunities with other professionals. I could definitely write a paper on all the positive camps, programs, grants, procedures, policies, and processes that I have “borrowed” from many of you.  What more of an accolade than that assisting someone start something in their community?

My plan when attending any conference is to bring home and implement at least but no more than three ideas, or incremental steps to positive change. I try to keep a list of items separate from my notes taken during the educational sessions to refer back quickly and easily, and to continue to add to the list. Obviously, I want to learn anything, and everything there is to learn, but while doing so, it is important to incorporate realization into what you can bring home, and what might be later down the road for your community.

While developing your career at the conference, by educating yourself, and improving your performance as a Director, manager, leader within the field, it is also imperative to set time aside to meet with industry suppliers and individuals that can assist with you doing your job at a higher level, by utilizing their products.  Please take time to visit the Exhibit Hall, and introduce yourself to the Vendors that bring their knowledge and expertise to share with you. It is vital to our budget that continues to bring in these valuable exhibitors!

Re-energize yourself, and your staff by sharpening your knowledge, learning the new best practices, meeting industry leaders, making new contacts, and connecting with those friends and colleagues, all while having a wonderful time at Kalahari Resorts in March 2022.

PRPS Conference & Expo Social Call, District Belt & Prize Pool

by Jason Cerkan

PRPS is making a bodacious return to an in-person annual conference. The Conference Committee & PRPS staff have been working together feverishly over the past 12 months to bring an exciting, educational, and entertaining 75th Conference & Expo, Looking Back While Moving Forward, at Kalahari Resort. Let’s not forget an amazing cast of Keynote speakers who are sure to be da bomb!

With over 50 sessions, many social opportunities (don’t miss the morning fitness meet-ups), an Expo Hall full of your favorites, the return of the Prize Pool and the District Challenge, there will be endless opportunities for newbies and seasoned peeps to interact and network with peers (don’t forget your business cards.)

A quick rundown of Socials for the 75th Annual PRPS Conference & Expo:

Tuesday, March 29th

Join us in the Expo Hall during the Grand Opening for a hella good tailgate party. Put together your dream team or participate individually in challenges to earn points towards the District Belt. Wear your college swag! Forgot your swag, Come On Down to Registration to purchase online 2022 PRPS Conference & Expo shirts, hats, bandanas, and more…

After dinner with our Keynote Kristine Stratton, take a time warp to join us for DJ Slammin’ Jams for a Trivia Challenge.  Participate with your crew or alone to earn points towards the District Belt. 

Wednesday, March 30th

Blow off some steam at the Morning Fitness Meet-Up with Patty Kleban for yoga stretching before the sessions begin. Don’t forget to pack your yoga mat. Purchase online a cool 2022 PRPS Conference & Expo Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle to keep you hydrated. Namaste!

Register for the bus trip to the Crossings Premium Outlets to Shop til You Drop at over 100 outlet stores or chillax at the Barley Creek Tasting Room, which features craft beers and wines from across Pennsylvania.

Jump in your time machine and boogey on down to see The Uptowns Getdowns perform music from the 40’s to today in the Conference Hall from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Get down you ducky shincrackers in your dress of the generations! Judges will award points towards the District Belt for the best squad and best individual outfits. Get grooooovy at the Photo Booth to preserve your memories for years to come.

Thursday, March 31st

Join Conference Co-Chair, Kristy Owens and connect with other like-minded individuals for a morning run~walk~jog around the Kalahari complex before the sessions begin. This is an EXCELLENT EXCELLENT way to get the blood flowing and prepare for a full day of sessions and excitement. The route may take you onto roadways, so be sure to wear reflective gear, as Safety is Always First. Average temps this time of year are 25-48 degrees so dress appropriately. Forgot your workout clothes? Mosey on over to registration to purchase online 2022 PRPS Conference & Expo gear, including a premium tank top available in men’s and women’s sizes. This isn’t a competition, go at your own pace and stop when you want. To join, simply show up at the ENORMOUS metal tree or email Kristy at kowens@crcog.net. In the event of inclement weather, the group will remain indoors.

After totaling up the points from the Tailgate Party, Trivia, and Dress the Decades events, the District Belt will be awarded at the PRPS Luncheon and Business Meeting.

Enjoy the elegant performers at the Awards Reception later that evening.

After the Awards Banquet, change into your favorite camp fire outfit and mellow out on the patio to roast marshmallows as we Party S’More with music performed by Jim Roberti. Not interested in an outdoor party, then grab some popcorn & cotton candy and get cozy for an evening Movie, bring the whole family!

Enter the Zen Zone at any time during the conference to enjoy a peaceful and calm atmosphere. Signage will be posted at the Zen Zone location each day.

The Prize Pool will be located in the Expo Hall. Labels not required. The Community Branch Committee are selling ticket sheets, cash or card accepted. Greenhorns seeking employment should drop their resumes off at the Prize Pool, where job postings will be listed, Opportunity Awaits! The Community Branch is still looking for donations for the Prize Pool! Consider donating tickets to local attractions, a gift card, or even cool department swag.

Peace, Love, and Granola…

Looking Back While Moving PA Forward

by Jason Lang, East Goshen Township

For anyone that has read my Dig It! blogs over the years, I typically pull on heart strings…but not today! As I sit here on 2/22/22 typing away, we are just 35 days away from the 75th Anniversary PRPS Conference & Expo and it’s starting to get exciting! In just one month, 400+ park and recreation professionals will converge on Kalahari Resorts and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to party! Fellow Conference Co-Chair Kristy Owens and I have an amazing team that deserves a ton of credit! So here they are!

Education Committee: Kristin Zeigler, Derek Dureka, Cindy Dunlap, Dave Hutner, Chris Biswick, Marissa Sprowles

Expo Hall Committee: Andy Oles, Mike Richino, Katie Kollar, Doug Knauss, Joanna Sharapan

Socials: Becky Richards, Jason Cerkan

Local Arrangements: Dan Sharapan

Registration: Emily Croke

Publicity: Kelsey Najdek

Room Host: Paul Kopera

App Master: Trevor Pearson

And of course, the amazing PRPS staff is the driving force behind the experience, led by Director of Training and IT Niki Tourscher!

But, we still need help to pull this all off, and I’m talking to you! Yes, you reading this right now! We still need a few folks to volunteer at the Registration Desk (1-2 hours) and as Room Hosts, very simply introducing speakers and making sure the crowd doesn’t get too rowdy!

Now, many of you might be asking yourself if you really need to attend the conference or not…and the answer is yes! Double yes! And here’s why!

It’s been three years since we all got together way, way back in March 2019 at the conference in Penn State. I miss my friends from Pittsburgh! I miss the witty banter at the Awards Banquet between Barry Bessler and Dave Hutner about who’s better, the Eagles or Steelers (it’s a tie – they both stink!). March 2019 feels like forever ago, and you know what, you deserve this conference. We all do! The pandemic has hit PA communities hard, but park and recreation professionals have been true leaders in the face of crisis. Creative and driven folks that have thrust parks and programming forward as a panacea for moving us successfully through COVID. So you deserve to have these four days. Four days to applaud yourself for your hard work. Four days to commiserate with fellow folks who “get it.” Four days to steal genius programming ideas from someone else. Four days to meet with expo hall vendors about exciting post-pandemic projects. And four days, if you are like me, away from your own crazy kids!

So as you can see, I didn’t mention anything about CEU’s, our terrific lineup of speakers, or socials. All of that will be AMAZING. At the end of the day, its the PRPS membership, coming together from all corners of PA that makes the conference special. Be a part of it!

You can find all the Conference & Expo details and registration on the website at https://www.prpsconferenceandexpo.org/.

Hope to see you there!

Jason

Thinking Deeply About Customer Service

by Molly Hetrick

I think I am a good customer. I’m always polite, though sometimes firm, and clear about what I am asking for when contacting a business. I try to also be patient and thoughtful, I will even say “I bet you’re really busy this time of year” or “I imagine the pandemic has made things challenging for you” and many times the person appreciates the empathy.

So, let’s consider a few things:

• I had a return of an item to Chewy.com and when I called customer service, they refunded my money but said to keep the item and donate it. This is a wonderful model… but my thoughts were “How can they afford that?” and “I can imagine other people taking advantage of that”?

• The same thing happened a few months ago with Clinique. They refunded my money, but let me keep the item to gift on to someone else. Great! Convenient for me, a friend got to try the product; maybe she will start using Clinique, which is probably what they hope for. (But again, I can see people taking advantage of this?)

So, why are we talking about this?

This is the “new” kind of customer service model, particularly which the retail world is moving to. Customers now expect free shipping, no-questions-asked returns, an end to hidden fees, and a money-back guarantee. AND Consumers are in control with online reviews. They expect customer service to be instant chat, just a click or two away, and 365/24/7. They expect same day delivery options – they don’t want to wait. They want to ask questions and make their opinions heard on social media, and have a fast response.

Even though in Recreation we are not retail, I firmly believe that this is fundamentally changing the mindset and more importantly, the expectations, of customers. They want easy, they want fast, they want satisfaction and are used to “above and beyond.”

No longer is a small business able to say “I understand you used this product for 3 months, broke it and now would like a refund of your original purchase price. But I cannot afford to do that for customers and keep my small business open. So here is what I CAN offer you…” (Slightly more direct language than is probably used, but you get the point).

Large cyber businesses have cushions, loopholes, and volume to support them. Smaller businesses, non-profits, and municipal based departments who offer services do not have such great options. We can’t give a whole summer of free camps because the child had a bad experience on Week 1. We can’t let kids repeat swimming lessons over and over without payment when the parent says it’s the Instructor not the child that is at issue. If we did, we could not afford to pay staff and keep the doors open, or even stay afloat beyond one or two years.

We can’t afford to designate a staff person to cover the Instant Chat and all the social media channels, the phone, the email and the voicemail too!

Please share other examples in the comments, there are so many more!

So, what do we do?

We are just at the edge of this new change and the new habits big retail is training society to expect. So let’s look at two things.

What do Customers Want?

• Satisfaction (Happiness?)

• Their need fulfilled

• An affordable cost  (sometimes they’ll pay for faster)

• A convenient and fast solution

• Their opinions and comments to be heard

Why do Customers Complain?

• Their expectations did not match what was offered

• Their expectations outstretch what the organization can provide

• They did not feel appreciated or they felt confused

• Service was not fast enough

How can we approach this?

• Clear instructions and expectations

• Matter-of-Fact policies

• Excellent friendly customer service (start off on the right foot)

• Empathy with clear solutions of what you actually CAN do when situations come up

• A work-together approach “I understand what you are asking for, here is what I can give, is there a way we can meet in the middle?”

• Decide how you will handle the small number of customers who are repeatedly asking for something outside the policies. (The 80-20 rule)

We are just entering into this new phase of super-fast, delivered to your door, over the top service. Convenience and demand take on all new meanings, and the refunds or customer service hoops to make people happy after there is a mix up sometimes are beyond belief.

How is your organization navigating these new waters?

How are these new business practices in customer service impacting your recreation services and programs?

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