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Season Passes
The risk of the hours and days that follow big pass deadlines.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

To be clear, there is a lot to balance when it comes to pass deadlines. You are trying to align these moments to times when folks are likely to book – spring when they’re still skiing and fall when they start thinking about it again – but I want to highlight something that’s come up recently.

Specifically, the day after deadlines.

And more specifically, the conversations your call center has with folks who didn’t book in time.

Reasons

There are certainly a solid list of reasons that people give for not booking in time:

  • They had technical issues
  • They had a family emergency
  • They forgot
  • They misunderstood the date/time when prices went up

These are all valid, they’ve all happened to us. And we know we’ll hear them again after the labor day deadlines come and go.

But here’s the thing. Actually, here are the four things.

First, the person you’re talking to is trying to give you money. They’re trying to buy something you really want to sell.

Second, our industry isn’t exactly strict about deadlines. Every season dozens upon dozens of resorts extend their deadlines for no reason at the drop of a hat. Sometimes multiple times.

Third, even with that loose attitude, deadlines still work. I used to worry about crying wolf, but a deadline is not some moral requirement, it’s a tool. And even though we aren’t very strict, they still effectively do their job.

Fourth, let’s say someone calls in and says they never got the email. But when you pull up the profile, you see that they both got the email and clicked on it. Listen, even if you’re sure they don’t deserve it, keep in mind that refusing to help them is sending a message. And that message, quite simply, is “We don’t believe you.”

Results

What I’m getting at is this. When these calls come in, the job of the deadline is already done. So when someone calls explains why they didn’t buy, we only stand to lose if we refuse to accept their reason.

  • We stand to lose their money today if that’s a deal breaker and they don’t buy
  • We stand to lose their trust if they get any sort of vibe we think they’re lying
  • We stand to lose their loyalty tomorrow if they’ve had a pass for a while

Are there times when you should say “no”? Probably. But I want you to compare this response:

“Sorry, the rules are the rules. No exceptions. You got the email, it looks like you clicked the email, you know how it works.”

To this.

“You know what, I get it. The same thing happened to me before I worked here. Let me pull up your profile and see what I can do…Yeah, I can definitely get you that pre-deadline price. You’ve been a passholder for a bunch of years and it’s the least we can do to show some love in return.”

One of those things could stop loyalty in it’s tracks. One of those things could build it. Food for thought when your team answers the phones next week.


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