A few days ago I wrote about an unpleasant experience I had at a hotel. One small annoyance, and they lost my business permanently.
When those small things are done right. Or better yet, done exceptionally well, they are the catalyst of business success. They become pleasant surprises.
I took a recent trip to Rochester, New York to speak to a group of entrepreneurs. The night before my speaking gig, I stayed at the Strathallan. A hotel name I had heard of before, and one that I will remember for a long time.
I arrived after a draining, raining five hour drive. I slumbered into the lobby around 9pm and the friendly greeter checked me into my room quickly. As he handed me my room key, he also handed me a warm, jumbo chocolate chip cookie. Wow!
I skipped the valet and parked my own car. Partly because I am cheap (frugal). And partly because I am cheap (frugal) even when I am exhausted. When I parked my car, the valet ran over to unload my luggage. Wow! Wow!
Smart Shower Design
I decided to take a warm shower before I called it a night. I readied myself to turn the shower handle and jump out of the way of the cold initial splash. But I didn’t have to. The handle was located at the shower entrance (not under the shower head where it is most convenient for plumbing but not for the customer). I turned on the shower without getting wet. Without having to dodge water. Wow! Wow! Wow!
I am now a customer for life with Strathallan and it’s DoubleTree chain.
Pleasant surprises. They matter. The customer notices. The customer doesn’t forget the small things.
As long as you keep delivering pleasant surprises, and avoid small annoyances you will customers for life. And a few of them will even blog about it.