Today is my first day back from a much-needed vacation. My husband, David, and I spent 10 wonderful days in the cool Colorado Rockies -- fly fishing, biking, hiking and just relaxing.
While traveling, we stayed at five different lodging establishments, including one bed & breakfast, one condominium, one lodge and two upscale hotels. Our accommodations at all five establishments were outstanding. I would rank each one high on my satisfaction scale. But two of the five stand out as places I truly hated to leave, for whom I will make strong recommendations to my friends, and plan to return to again and again.
Why? Among all five all-star players, what made these two stand out?
Their people were more than accommodating. They went beyond simply meeting our needs. With friendly smiles and cheerful attitudes -- from the check-in staff to housekeeping -- everyone seemed intent on making sure we were delighted.
Here is what I noticed at the three also-ran establishments: a casual attitude about service and etiquette. For example, we ate in the lovely hotel restaurant of one of the also-rans. Our server repeatedly came by our table and said, "Everything okay here?"
At the stellar establishment, the server kept our water glasses filled and frequently asked, "Is there anything else I can do for you?"
At the stellar establishment, when we thanked someone for their service, they replied, "My Pleasure."
At the also-rans, when we thanked someone for their service, we got a friendly, "No Problem!"
Really? No problem? I am so pleased to be informed that my presence in your establishment is, thankfully, not a problem for you!
The stellar establishments made an impression on us with a delight-the-customer attitude that was pervasive throughout the staff, not just the official "greeters."
I challenge you this week to listen to the conversations between your staff members -- as they relate to each other, to you, and to your customers. While you're at it, perform the same listening check on yourself.
Has the "No Problem" language -- and attitude -- cropped up in your firm? If you hear that phrase, "No Problem," I challenge you to call it out. Ban it from your office, and replace it with "My Pleasure."
Satisfied customers are just that -- customers. They probably won't complain, and they may come back if they need more services.
Delighted customers become clients, and clients make referrals. Not only do they come back to you again, but they delightedly refer you to their friends, family and acquaintances.
Now, just to prove that I am true to my word, let me make a couple of recommendations. If you are traveling to southern Colorado, treat yourself to a nice long stay at the Wyndham Pagosa in Pagosa Springs. When in Vail, you will get red carpet treatment at The Sebastian.