People may think you an I are nuts when we confess that we LOVE customer service.
Some owners and employees think it’s not the sophisticated part of business, but I challenge that assumption.
Providing excellent customer service means that you have to provide an
excellent Customer Experience.
Think of the experience as the whole pie, and service as a piece of the pie.
Which scenario (below) resulted in an annual return trip, a rave review on Trip Advisor, a handwritten personal thank you note to a staff member, and a $100 tip for that staff member?
Robert people parked the car and we walked into the boutique hotel. We were celebrating our anniversary and this was our first time at this hotel. We were looking forward to some quiet, unplugged, relaxation time so we booked on a Tuesday night hoping to avoid the crowds. The front desk staff greeted us pleasantly, asked our name, looked up the reservation, and offered some chocolate chip cookies that were on the desk. They were warm, which was nice for the hubs but I’m gluten free so politely declined. It was our first time staying at the boutique hotel so she pointed out the dining room where breakfast would be served, and where we could also get some homemade hot chocolate, tea, or hot water at any time. She took us to our room, pointed out where the hall bath was located and wished us a pleasant stay.
Nice, yes? Yes.
- Milk Toast
- Milk Toast
We were celebrating our 30th anniversary and this was our first time at this hotel. We were looking forward to getting out of the city and enjoying some quiet, unplugged, relaxation time so we booked on a Tuesday night hoping to avoid the crowds. On our way to the hotel from Portland, Robert veered off the interstate and we took the Columbia River Scenic Highway which winds along parallel to the interstate. We very rarely do this. We stopped at the waterfalls and lookout points along the way. It was a nice change to taking the interstate.
Before reaching our destination, we stopped off at the Historic Baldwin Saloon where we enjoyed a great dinner, wonderful ambiance, and, to my surprise, a coupon for 10% off. Nice choice for dinner Robert!
It was about eight when we parked the car and walked into the boutique hotel. We were relaxed, and the anniversary stay was off to a good start. The front desk staff greeted us pleasantly, asked our name, looked up the reservation, and offered some chocolate chip cookies that were on the desk. The hubs indulged and noted that they were warm. She also had a plate labeled gluten free. I was pleasantly surprised because I’m gf!
She noted that we were first time guests, wished us a happy 30th anniversary (impressed that she knew it was our 30th!) She asked how the dinner was, saw we were packing leftovers, and offered to label with our names and put them into the hotel fridge for us.
It was our first time staying here so she showed us to the dining room where breakfast would be served, and where we could help ourselves to homemade hot chocolate, tea, or hot water at any time. She asked if we were game or card players and pointed out the parlor where there were some great books, games, and cozy couches.
She nabbed my luggage and walked us up to our room. It was pleasantly lit and warm when we walked in. This was not the room we booked, we had one with a shared bath. This one had a private bath! They didn’t charge us for the upgrade and wished us a very happy anniversary. When she left she pointed out our gift bag on the dresser.
Inside were two personal handmade mugs with our names on them and our anniversary date! Also, was a table game for families and couples – Be the Gift, Inspire. Act. Connect. An excellent way to reconnect on our 30th. On the interior door plate there was a love quote and our names were on it. This place takes care of the details!
There’s a notable difference in the two examples, yes? Notice how in the second example the focus changes from providing a service to providing an Experience.
Sadly, the first example missed so many opportunities to enhance the Customers Experience. Opportunity, revenue, warm fuzzies, staff pride, and creating a connection with the business by creating an experience, they were all pissed away.
This is the stuff I LOVE.
Creating Customer Experiences.
When you get excited about it, your staff does too. Staff will feel empowered, have such fun being creative, feel valued, important, and loyal to your company. Guests feel special. Who wouldn’t want to feel like a VIP?
How do you get your team to move from providing the first experience to the second experience?
The second experience is an owners dream! In the next blog post I’ll share our tips for moving staff from providing service to providing an experience. It’s SO MUCH fun! Come on, drink the Kool aide.
“. . . people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
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Grow your business through creating excellent Customer Experiences!