Business & Finance

KOA Campground Staff to Receive Service Training

BILLINGS, MT / HORSHAM, PA, August 24, 2006. For decades, experts in the hospitality business thought all it took to bring customers back to their doors again and again was a nice facility in a good location.

That mindset changed at Kampgrounds of America two years ago, when camper research found that the vast majority of campers returned to their favorite KOAs primarily due to the great service they received from the staff and owners at each KOA campground.

"It became very clear to us that the best way for us to create loyal KOA campers was to ensure that the staff at the campground was trained to provide a great experience for the camper, each and every time," said Jim Rogers, President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc.

To make that happen, KOA partnered with LRA Worldwide, Inc., of Horsham, Pennsylvania, to create KOA's new "Making It G R E A T" Program.

"KOA had already established its 'Great People. Great Camping.' branding message with its franchise owners and campers, so developing a program that franchise owners could use to train their staffs was a natural next step," said Constance Bille, M.Ed., Director of LRA's Organizational Development and Training practice. "KOA has embraced the opportunity to create a service culture to support the KOA brand and really stand out from the crowd within the camping industry."

KOA and LRA designed the new training program in response to guest surveys that indicated that a positive, engaging experience with a campground's staff led campers to seek out other KOA campgrounds during their travels. The new training includes specialized training materials, guides, videos and workbooks written to ensure all staff members at the more than 450 KOA locations in North America receive the same high-quality customer service training.

"This is really the first time this level of training has been attempted in the campground industry," Rogers said. "And it dovetails nicely with our effort of the past two years to raise our brand awareness among campers by having all staff members wear our bright yellow KOA shirts while working on the campground and interacting with guests. As the training becomes an ingrained part of the KOA service culture and brand, its impact will grow exponentially each year."

"KOA's research, coupled with the "Making It G R E A T" program, will give KOA franchise owners the opportunity to better understand how to drive the great guest experience that KOA campers expect from the folks in the yellow shirts," Rogers said.

Coming Up In The March Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Human Resources 2015: Recruiting and Retaining the Best Employees
Due to the ever-increasing demands for improvements in guest experience, intense pressures are brought to bear on hotel workforces, as well as on the Human Resource professionals who are responsible for recruiting, training and retaining them. Meeting and exceeding guest expectations requires a substantial investment in recruiting and development, so that top talent can be hired, and career paths can be established to ensure the continuation of five-star service performances. So important is staff development that most HR professionals believe that retaining and rewarding their best employees, and cultivating the next generation of corporate leaders represent their greatest challenges. And they are expected to accomplish these feats at a time when competition for in-demand skilled talent has never been greater, and when HR budgets are still constrained due to the slow-growth recovery following the Great Recession of 2007-2009. HR strategies continue to evolve as social media has become an accepted means for recruiting purposes, and there is also a greater emphasis on metrics so that investments in HR practices and policies can be measured and justified. In addition, issues surrounding demographic changes in the workforce are being addressed. A large percentage of existing workers are ageing out of the industry, just as the Millennial generation is entering it, and there is also greater diversity in the workforce which affects many aspects of HR operations. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the challenges facing HR professionals, and will report on some of the best practices they are employing to achieve their goals.