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Welcoming Visitors to Our Community

Posted on July 2nd, 2013

– a note from Jackie, Executive Director of the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce

Recently, while driving through the Downtown area of Chisholm Street I started noticing license plates. Parked all in a row along Chisholm were vehicles with license plates from Texas, Indiana, Illinois, and Florida (and of course Michigan). The next day I was in the Ossineke area, parked in the parking lot of a business and again noticed the license plates: Texas, Illinois, and South Carolina. It led me to start thinking about the Chamber office. Were we ready for the influx in tourists? Was our customer service level polished and ready to serve our guests? We work with tourists all year long, helping them plan their time here, helping them find what they are looking for once they are here. But in the summer, we have a lot more face to face interaction with tourists so we make sure our office is stocked with information packets, brochures, and visitor’s guides. We want their experience here to be the best it can be!

Is your business ready for our guests? Here are some ideas on ways you can entice more visitor’s into your store, and ways you can help make their experience the best:

  • pay close attention to what’s going on in the area each week (www.alpenacvb.com for a calendar of events) and put signage up welcoming any large groups of visitors (example: WELCOME HOG RALLY!)
  • on nice days, keep your door propped open to appear welcoming and inviting to pedestrians
    interact with guests – make sure all staff is greeting them with a smile and not from behind a counter but while milling around the floor space
  • carry a few visitor’s guides, maps, or other material on hand so you are prepared when/if someone asks a question about the community
  • offer a complimentary bottle of water or small snack – especially on hot summer days!

Do you have a trick that works well for you? Let us know and we will share with others via our social media outlets. Email tips to info@alpenacvb.com.