I love to fly fish. And, I am fortunate to have the Chattahoochee River running across my backyard only fifty feet from the back door of my river house in North Georgia. It is stocked yearly with beautiful rainbow trout for “catch and release” fly fishing. Sixty percent of trout placed in the river remain within a half-mile of where they are inserted. The big deal event of the year is trout stocking when 1500 pounds of trout are carefully transported from a large tank truck into the river. 

We held that event recently. A dozen folks, all fly-fishing devotees, gathered to help with the trout stocking. The one- to two-pound fish were poured from large buckets into the river right behind seven homes in the small neighborhood. It was a time for fish tales, technique sharing, and stories of the big one that got away. Following the stocking, stockers and their spouses gathered for an old-fashioned picnic in which every family brought a contribution to the feast.

But the magic in the bonding experience is creating and nurturing a sense of community. People are eager to help, do favors for each other, and generously contribute to everyone else’s well-being during the rest of the year. There is a clear and present effort to protect the river and serve as good stewards of nature at its finest.

Great customer service can be much like trout stocking in its impact on participants in a shared experience. So, what actions can you take to bolster a sense of family, an experience of community, and an inclusive attitude that remains throughout the rest of the year? What can you do to make the venue of your service a destination location?