Here in High Point, we are fortunate to have 75,000 people who come twice a year to spend a few days with us during the Furniture Market. However, many folks who live in High Point don’t realize we also have more than 100,000 visitors that come year round in addition to those that come during Market times. 80,000 visitors come to visit High Point University annually and more than 20,000 come to High Point as a destination to buy home furnishings.
There is a common demographic to most visitors to High Point. The age range is generally 25 to 65 years old with a household income of at least $100,000 a year. Currently, there are opportunities in the heart of the city to add new amenities such as hotels, restaurants and retail establishments that cater to a variety of clientele. The existing businesses that cater to this audience are currently prospering and enjoy high occupancy rates, robust crowds for dining, and good retail sales.
Current service providers in High Point are mindful to eliminate any cracks in the destination experience veneer – that is any poor quality food, beverage and accommodations, as well as surly, uninformed employees. Reputations can be made or ruined in a flash, thanks to the internet and less-than-positive consumer reviews. News about a bad experience can now travel faster than ever.
If you are a service provider in a hotel, restaurant, retail, or other business that caters to visitors that come into High Point, then you are an important key stakeholder. In fact, service providers in High Point are Industry Partners for the High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau (HPCVB). The mission of the High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau is to attract and send visiting consumers to your business. We want you to succeed! We know that in order for you to be successful, you must strive to exceed the expectations of your consumers by delivering an exceptional experience.
Below are some suggestions for how to elevate the customer experience for city visitors and locals alike:
- Tourism is more than a job; it is a vocation. In the stress-filled world of hospitality, only those who truly enjoy customer service can offer outstanding customer service. Make sure you choose employees who enjoy working with the public.
- Education is key. Send your staff members to HPCVB seminars to learn what other Industry Partners are offering. Visitors to our city are not merely purchasing your services and products. That means that hoteliers need to know about local events, places to visit and dining options. Car rental companies need to provide more than a map, and locally-owned restaurateurs need to provide unique menu options that keep visitors and locals coming back.
- Find out what your customers want. In today’s information-oriented world there is no excuse for not knowing the preferences and special needs of your customers. The hospitality industry is based on personal relationships. Find ways to personalize your service so that each visitor is treated as an honored guest.
- Develop partnerships. One of the complaints from tourists is that too many organizations duplicate each other or are unaware of other dining, sporting or entertainment options in High Point. Find ways to work with other Industry Partners to create a seamless experience for visitors. Excellent service and referrals create a loyal customer base and build support on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
- Tourism involves the whole community. We are all advocates for the city of High Point whether or not we work in the tourism industry. Local residents need to experience excellent customer service at High Point establishments so they can recommend these businesses to visitors. The local community needs to understand and value that the creation of more restaurant, hotel and retail establishments in the heart of the city will benefit both tourists and locals alike.
- Provide accurate information. There is nothing more frustrating to a visitor than to be stuck in a traffic jam, discover unexpected road construction and detours, or find out that the recommended attraction, showroom, or restaurant is closed on the day that they want to visit. Keeping up-to-date on happenings in the city is important when serving the public.
- Be thankful that you have a job. It is always a good idea to remember that if the visitors stop coming, those in the tourism industry will be out of work. In many ways, our whole city benefits from a robust tourist trade.
The High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to help you whether you are visiting or a lifelong resident. The opinion of visitors to High Point is made up of the sum of their many experiences within our city. The world of hospitality and servicing visitors is vast and responsive. We need to step up and ensure that all of our customers, both visitors and local, receive a consistently excellent experience every time.
For more about becoming a Preferred Member of the High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau, stop by our new Regional Visitors Center at 1634 North Main Street or call (336) 884-5255.