After a much needed, quiet three weeks at home, I started to travel for myself and clients in late January. Here is the round-up of the good, the bad, and the unexplainable. Use the lessons to elevate your own customer experiences.
They could make the difference between a loyal client and a lost one.
1. The Rio Mar Wyndham in Puerto Rico is a massive resort on a gorgeous stretch of beach. Family friendly but also with a great spa and quiet pool for adults, my initial feelings on arriving were positive. And then I tried to get a towel at the pool. First, you have to give them a special towel card, and they remind you that you will owe $25 if you don’t return the towel. When I asked for a second towel, I had to show my room key (even though I had already given them a towel card) and sign my name to a register. To be frank, the towels were threadbare. If I were going to steal one, I would have taken the bath towels in the hotel! But even then I would not have used them to dry off my pup Russell. So why did the hotel treat us like towel criminals?
The sales lesson: First impressions are great. But it’s the consistency of the service that keeps customers loyal. Take a look at all your customer policies. Which ones could repel your clients? If you don’t know, ask your best clients which policies irritate them the most. Listen, and then act.
2. American Airlines‘ international first class (flagship) service is exceptional. Attentive flight attendants who greet you by name, remember what you are eating and drinking, provide helpful tips and service. They add personal touches such as air fresheners to the bathrooms and turn down service on overnight flights. I’m a huge fan. What I don’t understand is why the domestic first class service is so spotty. On a flight this week from Miami to LAX on flight AA139 Kathie and her crew were exceptional. They provided a level of personalized service equivalent to Flagship. On the next flight AA161 LAX to Maui, we had the opposite experience. On the same plane, we were provided with terrible, condescending, and reactive service. They gave no personalization to passengers either. It was almost as if we, the pesky passengers, were getting in the way of the attendants having a good time. Since I assume all flight attendants receive service training, why isn’t their service consistent or consistently applied?
The sales lesson: It doesn’t cost you any more to train ALL your staff to be client focused, yet the impact on your bottom line is priceless. When customers receive an inconsistent service, they look elsewhere. And, when they go elsewhere you risk not just losing that customers immediate revenue but the revenue from future referrals and retention. Inconsistent service erodes your brand power in the market, which in turn slows lead flow, and eventually chokes off revenue. As a side note, if you have evidence of any employees being client repellent, and they won’t change, fire them. <– Click to Tweet
They are toxic to your business and its growth.
3. Fawsley Hall in the Midlands of England is an exceptional location for an executive retreat. Built in the 1400s and restored beautifully, the Hall provides some of the best service, amenities, and food I have experienced while working on site with a client. I highly recommended it.
The Sales lesson: exploit your uniqueness as an advantage. Fawsley Hall is in the middle of nowhere, down a private road, through a sheep farm, onto a lane, and then an ally way half a lane wide. The Hall did not show up on the GPS of my driver’s brand new Mercedes! Despite the location they are thriving because they exploit this hideaway as an advantage for privacy, quietness, and retreat focused event. What makes you unique? How are you communicating this uniqueness to your advantage?
Join me next month as I recount February travels and share my sales lessons from the road. I would love to hear from you about your sales travels. After all, sales pros are travel pros!
Any lessons you want to share with our readers? Let’s hear it in the comments below!