The Whistler Experience Optimizes Training for World-Class Customer Service


The Whistler Experience

The Challenge: May We Serve You?

There are three dominant trends that challenge businesses around the world:

  1. Service has become the key competitive differentiator in any sector
  2. Businesses in labour intense industries like tourism have to ensure their teams are able to serve an increasing number of customers while managing high employee turnover
  3. Small businesses do not generally have the financial or human resources to create their own service frameworks and training modules

The Solution: A Service Solution

The Whistler Experience™  is a service solution that leverages its world-class learning partnership with UVic’s Gustavson School of Business to deliver content that:

  • Teaches teams how to plan for and deliver powerful experiences customers won’t stop talking about
  • Provides leadership training on how to create and maintain a thriving service culture as well as  align employees with company goals
  • Is easy to understand and to implement by anybody regardless of his/her position, the sector and organizational size
  • Is affordable for small businesses

Benefits: The Value of Employees

Early on, Whistler businesses recognized that the employee is the most crucial part in the value chain. The resort has a long history in providing resort-wide customer service training. The breakthrough came in 2014 when the Whistler Chamber partnered with the UVic’s Gustavson School of Business to create this unique customer experience program that elevates people and service.

  • Whistler Experience training is based on research in business and psychology to drive better service and sales. Take-aways from workshops are designed to be easy to remember and implement. For example, the service framework is summarized as the 3Rs of customer service: Customers will recommend your business if service is reliable and responsive and if the organization or the employee has been able to build a relationship.
  • The Whistler Experience™  provides foundational training as well as leadership training for current and aspiring leaders.Training is modular but can be taken as a stand-alone. Facilitators are world-renowned experts in their fields who know how to educate as well as engage their audience.
  • Building on the training that continuously receives high likelihood-to-recommend scores from participants, The Whistler Experience™  team is building tools to help organizations implement the content. One of the most effective tools is The Whistler Experience™ Secret Shopper program which is based on the service framework and evaluates an organization’s service delivery regularly. This feedback can be used for ongoing service improvement, coaching and employee recognition.   

Outcomes: Quality Service Pays  

  • Whistler’s vision is to become the No. 1 resort town in service in the world. The Whistler Experience™  is one key vehicle to continuously strive for service excellence resort-wide.
  • After the first two years, more than 11,000 individuals have attended Whistler Experience training. Additionally, small businesses, corporations and non-profits from around B.C. and Seattle take advantage of the training. Whistler is on its way to become a world-class learning destination.
  • Guest surveys and business feedback show that the Whistler resort has been successful in keeping customer service levels high while serving record numbers of guests. 

Lessons Learned

What we’ve learned as we developed Whistler Experience training:

  • Make it inspiring
  • Ground it in Science
  • Give us the tools

Make the most out of your training dollars:

  • Attend training as a team
  • Assign a key team to drive the implementation process
  • Align and engage all team members on the big goals
  • Continue to nurture the culture to drive results

To create change in your organization and drive business results:

  • Leaders set the train tracks. Teams drive the train
  • Create a coaching culture for better performance


Watch the Whistler Experience Video Clip

January 5, 2017