Manage the Customer’s Experience
The Palm Desert Marriott is a beautiful resort near Palm Springs, California. This past March, I was at the resort to speak to the American Hardware Manufacturing Association. The night before my breakfast presentation, I dined in one of the resort’s fine restaurants, The Tuscany. While the food and ambiance were very good, the stand-out of my dining experience was my waitperson. She was prompt, attentive, and pleasant. But what I remember most happened at the end of the meal.
“Thank you for dining with us,” she said as she shook my hand. Each year, because of my business travel and love of fine food, I eat at least 300 meals outside my home. And yet, this was the first time anyone had thanked me and shaken my hand! While such a move on the part of a restaurant employee might strike most customers as odd, this waitperson extended her hand in a manner that I found to be classy and natural.
Then she added, “And don’t miss the comet, Hale Bopp, tonight — the sky is especially clear. Also at 7 p.m., you’ll want to watch for the lunar eclipse.”
In those two closing gestures, a handshake and a suggestion to view the night sky, my waitperson added immensely to my enjoyment of the evening. In fact, the real treat of my dining experience had nothing to do with northern Italian cuisine! It was about courtesy and astronomy. She managed my dining experience so that it was particularly enjoyable, personal, and memorable.
Likewise, no matter what product or service you offer, it is important that you manage your customer’s experience. It’s those seemingly little touches and comments–that often have nothing to do with your specific business — that will make your customers remember doing business with you as personal and enjoyable. What can you do today to cause customers not only to remember you, but also want to come back and recommend you to others?