Customer Experience – One Step Above Customer Service

Today’s travelling consumer – whether they are on holiday or travelling for business – is after more than just good service – that should be a given, they want a positive and total experience.

That experience commences with the first time they make contact with you to enquire about your product (whether that enquiry is made online, over the phone or personally across the reception counter) right through to when they leave your establishment and any follow up communication you have with them. Right throughout this process you, your staff and your product is on display, being judged, measured and memories of that experience catalogued for future reference and feedback.

It is not enough to have a great looking property with all the latest facilities and fads, your guest must be able to “feel” the uniqueness of your property and product offering. I have been to properties that have had nowhere near the “slickness” and “reputation” of other properties in the same sector and yet the feedback from guests has been astounding – and it has all related to the service and the “extra mile” that the hosts and staff of that property have been prepared to go to make the guest’s stay a great one.

This goes to another point I would like to make and that is you do not have to spend mega amounts on your product to ensure that it is able to compete on an equal footing with your competition – it is all about knowing your position in the marketplace, building your product around that positioning, marketing to the most appropriate demographic for your product – and providing superlative service to your guests. Give them that WOW factor. There are three aspects you have to pay absolute attention to:

1. Ensure that the very first impression your potential guests have of your product is one they will remember and talk about – positively;

2. Ensure that your product is presented well and leaves a memorable impression – the staff/reception/gardens/rooms/amenities are all representative of the impression you wish to leave with your guests and one that they will pass on to their friends when they are describing the holiday they had and

3. That the experience they had was positive and one they would wish to have again at a future date. This includes the service they received on your property and at all the local businesses you referred them to. This means that you must clearly understand the level of service your guests are experiencing at local establishments you are recommending. The only way you can ensure this is to experience it yourself and make sure that the proprietors are aware that your reputation relies on the level of service and the product they are offering.

Wowing your guests can be as simple as welcoming them by name and remembering and greeting them by name during their stay with you. Put yourself in your guest’s shoes. Are all interactions with you and your team members positive? If it’s hot, can you offer a cold drink on arrival? Or a hot drink if it’s freezing outside? Is there seating for the exhausted?

See your property through your guest’s eyes. Is everything clean, organised, accessible and up to date? Show you care by providing the latest tour guides, menus, information and TV/Entertainment listings for example. Can you and your staff personally discuss the restaurants and attractions you promote? Sometimes it’s just your willingness to go the extra mile that will impress.

A positive attitude and desire to make your guest’s stay as enjoyable as possible is what people remember. Make every guest feel special, valued and important – not like just another booking. Find out what your guests need and want, and give them an experience of a lifetime, everytime.

Terry Goodall
Goodall Dinan Group 

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