My partner and I recently stayed at a new boutique Hotel in the city. It was unique in that it wasn’t an older building that had been renovated or a new glass and concrete structure, it was a brand new building in the style of Palm Springs in the 60’s and 70’s and very reflective of the style, fun and good times associated with that era.
The other thing that was unique about it was the culture I encountered, unlike any other I’ve ever experienced in a big city hotel. While the rooms were quite retro and minimalist in a lot of ways, they had also incorporated some new subtle technology to make life easier. One of these features was an electric blind that you could lower at night to black out the room, without requiring bulky curtains.
Now, ours had a problem. It wasn’t responding to either of the two controls in the room so we thought we should address it with room service before it got dark. We rang it through and the desk manager came straight up to test the controls personally (not once questioning our ability to do so) and agreed that there was indeed a problem, offering his apologies. As we were about to head out to dinner, he offered us free pre dinner drinks in their Lobby Bar (wow #1) and told us he’d get right onto the issue in our absence.
Upon our return, he caught our attention as we re-entered the Lobby and told us that he’d spoken with the electrician and they were going into the online system to see if they could reset it. An hour later he rang us to say that they had been unable to fix the issue and that we were welcome to swap rooms. As it was mid evening and we were already settled in, we decided to stay, choosing instead to have the city lights as our curtain. He apologised again and offered us a free breakfast in the Hotel’s Lobby Bar the next morning (wow #2)
20 minutes later, we had a knock at the door and there he was personally with an impressive cheese platter and two glasses of port again, thanking us for our understanding and ensuring it didn’t diminish our experience. (wow #3)
I understand that not being able to black out a hotel room at night might be a deal breaker for some but we could have moved rooms if we had chosen, it was more about how they made us ‘feel’ about what had gone wrong.
Would I go back? Yes, in a heartbeat. Would I recommend the hotel to people? Yes again, for sure. Will I retell this story to others? I already am. Will this stick in my mind for a long time? Absolutely!
5 Simple Steps to achieving WOW
1/ If something goes wrong, get onto it straight away and let your client know you are working on it. Reassure the client and offer them something to address the balance in the emotional bank account because of what went wrong.
2/ Take ONE.MORE.STEP and do something extra that makes it not only alright, but completely over shadows any inconvenience, apprehension or annoyance your client may have suffered.
3/ It’s not all about money, its about communication and showing that you care. WOW buys you credit with your clients, building up a usable ‘bank’ you can call on when things go wrong.
4/ Use WOW in your business. If something goes wrong, if something goes right, when you deliver a new product to your product for the first time. Give your client something to complement it, to make it better, something they can enjoy personally or take away, keep and use, always reminding them of the way they were treated.
5/ Give your clients the opportunity to take away a memento, a souvenir, something branded that reinforces the WOW and lets them relive it every time they use it.
Make WOW part of YOUR culture, you won’t regret it.
People WILL tell people you wowed them. (I’m telling you)