Shop at Home kick-off and customer service
Green River was the site of the November Lunch and Learn for the Emery County Business Chamber. In addition to learning about customer service, the ECBC kicked off the Emery County: Your first choice shop at home campaign for the holiday season and into 2012.
ECBC president Tyler Jeffs welcomed everyone to the event held at the Tamarisk Restaurant on the banks of the Green River. The local business spotlight for the month was the Tamarisk. Eugene Swalberg was on hand to give the history of the restaurant and its scenic location. He said the property was owned by the Hatt family as well as the property where the museum is located and the motel. Kelly Bayles tried for three and a half years from 1975-1979 to get the restaurant location on the river. He wanted the diners to be able to enjoy the view. That's really where he wanted the restaurant to be and any sacrifice was worth the river view. The downside was the flood insurance was quite high priced. When the restaurant was opened in 1979 among the first customers was a bus load of 45 senior citizens stopping for lunch. About the same time a raft load of young people came floating by on the Green River and mooned the senior citizens dining in the Tamarisk by the large picture windows. That's one of the things Kelly learned early in business was to expect the unexpected.
Bayles said every decision made in a business should be revenue driven. The Tamarisk was one of the first restaurants to serve Navajo tacos. They will soon introduce a buffalo burger to the menu. There are also plans to build a new covered patio on the east side of the restaurant for those wishing to dine outside.
Swalberg reported from Bayles that business has been down a bit during the hard economic times and that restaurants are dependent on a healthy economy. Times are changing, but they are trying to keep up and try creative ideas to try to draw people/tourists to our area. Bayles is active on the travel bureau and they are trying many angles with their advertising budget. They want people to find out what's different and unique about our local area.
Bayles is happy to be in business in Green River and happy to be employing as many as 30-35 people. Many young people have worked at the Tamarisk as they go to college. There are two shifts operating at the business each day. The menu in the summer offers a wider variety and things are cut back for the off season.
The business is busy preparing for the future and working to take care of its customers in an efficient and friendly manner.
Ethan Migliori from the Small Business Development Center talked about customer service. He talked about five dysfunctions that businesses sometimes have.
Businesses need to build a level of trust with customers and employees. Do what you say you are going to do. Show genuine interest in who your customers are. Remember names.
Migliori said building relationships is important. In some businesses there is a fear of conflict. "In Utah there are strong religious cultures that teach that differences of opinions and conflicts are to be avoided. But, we need to look at what's different about us and find common ground. Stephen R. Covey teaches in order to be an effective manager you must understand first and then seek to be understood.
Migliori used two gears out of his boat to illustrate contention and conflict. He said the gears need to be kept greased and he found that out the hard way one day at Lake Powell. Keep the gears of your business well greased. Resolve conflicts constructively.
Migliori also used Julius Caesar as an example. His men were very loyal to their leader. He likened those men to employees in a business. How loyal are your employees to your business. Employees must be treated with a level of respect. Their respect must be earned by the employer. Some employees have a lack of commitment. They have not bought into what you're trying to do. They aren't pulling their weight. Employees need to know what's going on in a business. There needs to be good communication. There needs to be clarity of what needs to be accomplished. Clear definitions of what's expected of all employees should be clear. Everyone needs to follow the same game plan.
One mistake employers sometimes make is viewing their employees as things and not people. People are a combination of body, mind, spirit and heart. Some employees have no motivation and they are just filling time. McDonalds cycles through a lot of employees. Employees need to have an interest in what's going on and what's trying to be accomplished.
Some employees don't want to be accountable for their actions they place the blame on others. Employers and employees must do what they say they are going to do. Sell a product that's useful and reputable. Don't get caught in situations where there is a breakdown of trust. With social media the way it is anything done in business that's disreputable will be found out and broadcast and everyone will know about it. If a customer gets duped, it's a breakdown of trust.
Satisfied employees must have a level of trust in their employers. They must have incentive to remain with an employer.
"One of the companies we were working with was having a hard time keeping employees. We talked to the employees to see what was going on. They reported they had two bosses, one of the owners would tell them to do it one way and then the other owner would tell them to do it another way. There needs to be only one manager for those employees to report to and receive instruction from, the employees were confused. The employees didn't know who to listen to so they were unhappy in their job," said Migliori.
Migliori instructed everyone to evaluate where they are with their business, where are you doing well and where are you falling short.
Glen Jensen spoke next about the Emery County: Your first choice shop at home campaign. He has prepared posters and pamphlets outlining the top 10 reasons to shop local and support your local businesses and business owners who also happen to be your friends and neighbors. One of the things the business chamber is trying to do is establish local branding to get customers to consider staying local and buying local. It makes a real difference in your community to support schools, roads, infrastructure and other community needs. There will be a prize drawing in December and the campaign will continue into 2012. Prizes include a $300 gift certificate to Earl's Furniture and Appliance and $200 in Emery County bucks to be spent in Emery County businesses. Watch for cans in your local businesses where you can enter to win the prizes. Stay local and support your community encouraged Jensen. "Shopping local is an investment in yourself," said Jensen.