I flew into Los Angeles the night the Academy Awards were being held. By luck of the draw, I was in the same hotel that many of the celebrities stayed in. (My client really hooked me up.) From the moment I arrived, I was given the celebrity treatment and from arrival to checkout, I experienced a truly amazing, unforgettable customer experience. I want to point out a few of the great features of my service experience from the SLS Beverly Hills and offer this experience as a benchmark to you.
Attentive, Genuine, Warm Customer Service
When my private car pulled up to the SLS Beverly Hills, I was greeted by a bellman. Literally the second my car stopped, the bellman opened my door, offered a warm greeting, and made friendly eye contact. He introduced himself and asked my name. As we walked into the hotel and to the front desk, he made casual small talk and maintained confident eye contact.
The Opportunity: Get the interaction off to a great and memorable start by engaging in friendly conversation with customers. Make eye contact with customers and genuinely listen to any responses they give you. Getting the interaction off to a great start helps you establish rapport and trust and it makes the interaction memorable.
Surprise & Delight
There were a couple of people in line at the front desk. The bellman creatively used this time to WOW me with a perk. “As a guest of the SLS Beverly Hills, you get a BMW Active Hybrid 750i and a private driver. Just call the concierge whenever you need to go somewhere.” Ok, um…wow. Too bad I couldn’t take advantage of this perk. I arrived late and I was heading back to the airport right out after my keynote the next morning. Still, I was blown away with this offering.
The Opportunity: Look for ways to surprise and delight your customers. My hairstylist keeps Merlot and Chardonnay on hand for his customers. That’s an easy way to surprise and delight. Zappos delights customers with free shipping and a 365-day return policy. Find a way to surprise and delight your customers and you’ll keep people talking about you.
Identifying My Unexpressed Need
Check-in at the front desk was quick and pleasant. My room required key code access on the elevator. For some reason, I couldn’t get my floor button to illuminate after I entered my key in the elevator slot. I tried 3 times and then got off the elevator. I was going to simply try another elevator, but I didn’t get a chance. Within 2 seconds of my exiting the elevator, a gentleman from the front desk magically appeared and asked if I was having trouble accessing my floor. I told him yes. He asked for my room key, inserted it for me and it worked. My problem was solved before I even had a chance to ask for help. I was impressed with the fact that the employee was observant enough to catch my quandary and that he responded proactively and immediately.
The Opportunity: Be observant and on the lookout for ways you can meet customer needs, especially needs that aren’t directly expressed. Doing this will both relieve frustrated customers and offer a surprising and delightful experience. For a great exercise on how to identify unexpressed needs, read my previous post on the subject.
While the SLS Beverly Hills is a top choice for celebrities and “Distinguished Guests,” every guest is treated to the same attentive, delightful customer experience. Star treatment isn’t that difficult to achieve. Make your customers feel like stars by getting the interaction started off right, by surprising and delighting when possible, and working to meet unexpressed customer needs. When you do, you’ll create raving fans and bring your customers back again and again.
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