South Dakota Department of Tourism - www.SDVisit.com
SDVisit.com sitemap
   
 

2016 George S. Mickelson Great Service Awards

The George S. Mickelson Great Service Award honors businesses or organizations that have done an exemplary job of exceeding visitors’ expectations in customer service. It marks the culmination of a yearly hospitality program that involves hospitality training, customer comment cards, an employee recognition program, and an application for the Great Service Star designation.

Two George S. Mickelson Great Service Awards were presented for 2016.

In today’s social media world, a good or bad experience is rapidly communicated throughout online communities. That’s why it is more important than ever to create an environment focused on customer service and visitor experience. That’s why every year we recognize two partners who go above and beyond.

Presented to
The Saloon #10 and
the Deadwood Social Club

photo of ?
Secretary Jim Hagen and Lt. Gov. Matt Michels present a
2016 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award to
Charlie Struble (holding award) and team of
The Saloon #10 and the Deadwood Social Club of Deadwood

downloadable, hi-res version of this photo (300 dpi)

The Saloon #10 and the Deadwood Social Club, Deadwood, encourages every full-time and seasonal employee to explore the community and the surrounding area so they can pass along information to guests. Each employee is also given a one-sheet of common questions asked by visitors.

They also hold an annual meeting that includes customer service training and hospitality tips to help prepare them for the peak travel season. Monthly department meetings are held with the owners where employees are encouraged to discuss areas that need improvement, as well as share stories of success.

The Saloon #10 believes that by including employees in this part of the process, it not only boosts morale it also creates a culture of respect from the top down. Something, they say, that is the key to providing great customer service and keeping their employees long term – many have worked there at least 10 years, others have celebrated two decades at the establishment.

It is because they have great respect for each other and give great service that The Saloon #10 and the Deadwood Social Club was recognized this year.

(The Saloon #10/Deadwood Social Club is the non-corporate category winner. This category recognizes smaller hospitality businesses that do not have access to a larger corporate training program.)
 

 

And,

Presented to
Quality Inn & Suites, Watertown

photo of Governor Daugaard, Secretary Hagen and Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza staff
Secretary Jim Hagen and Lt. Gov. Matt Michels present a
2016 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award to
Kathy Kuno (holding award) and team from
the Quality Inn & Suites of Watertown.

downloadable, hi-res version of this photo (300 dpi)


The Quality Inn& Suites, Watertown, offers year-round training programs that focus on going above and beyond to “wow” guests every time.

Employees are recognized for a job well done with customer comment cards prominently displayed next to their photo in areas visible to everyone – including guests. They also celebrate individual’s birthdays and anniversaries the same way, as well as use social media channels to give extra recognition.

Employees are empowered to go above and beyond and make every wrong right. That could explain their 9.8 out of 10 customer service rating – the best in the region for entire franchise during the 4th quarter of 2015.

The Quality Inn & Suites of Watertown believes that every guest should consider their hotel their “home away from home.”

(The Quality Inn & Suites is the corporate category winner.)




Thank you to all of our industry members who participate in the Great Service Star program and to all industry staff who go above and beyond in the name of great service. Here are the finalists for the 2016 George S. Mickelson Great Service Award. In addition to the winners, these finalists also deserve recognition for all they do to make our visitors feel welcome:

Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone
Cedar Shore Resort, Chamberlain/Oacoma
Custer State Park, Custer
Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City
The Lodge at Deadwood, Deadwood
Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City
Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Pierre
Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rapid City
Redlin Art Center, Watertown
Reptile Gardens, Rapid City
Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sioux Falls
Wylie Park, Aberdeen.

 

 

Select the "Industry Marketing Programs" button, above, for more
information about the Great Service Star program
and other cooperative programs.