WOW! Recently I spoke for the National Concierge Association. Talk about pressure! What could I possibly share that concierge’s don’t already know about delivering amazing guest/customer experiences? Before I got on the plane, I even Googled “what do concierge’s need to know about customer service,” and all I could find were articles on “what concierges can teach you about customer service.” Oh my!
In actuality, my presentation was really well received and the group was absolutely wonderful! We bonded over our mutual love of all things surprise & delight, and it was a fabulous day!
The topic was Roll Out the Red Carpet and Add the WOW to Your Work! Thought I’d share a little of it with you today. So, without further ado here are….
3 ideas to consider as you strive to add WOW to your work!
- The Answer is YES, the Question is How. If you’ve followed my work for a while, this phrase will not be new to you. You may even remember the story of the Chicago Pizza Principle highlighted in my book, The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red-Carpet Customer Service. It focused on the concierge company whose mantra was “If you can imagine it, we can deliver it.” One of their clients requested a pizza from a specific Chicago pizza place, delivered to his flat in London, England, hot and fresh from the oven, that evening. Most people would say no! They did not. They put the pizza chef and all of his ingredients on a private plane, equipped with a pizza oven. The limo was waiting at the London airport, and the celebrity client received his very expensive pizza, on time, hot and fresh from the oven, all the way from Chicago. Most of our customers don’t come with such extravagant requests. If you want to add WOW to your work, it may be time to examine your policies and see where you can turn nos into yesses! Remember to empower your team and let them know where it’s okay to be flexible and go the extra mile for your customers.
- Discover to Delight. A couple of years ago, I got invited to tour Turner Field, which was the former stadium of the Atlanta Braves, at the invitation of the guest experience director at the time. She told me how her team would watch Twitter and Facebook on game days and look for people celebrating birthdays or anniversaries at the stadium. If they posted photos, the could usually tell where they were sitting and would run over with surprises to celebrate their special day! Talk about WOW! If you want to personalize your customer experience, you’ve got to have methods that you use to learn more about them. Start really listening to what your customers tell you and make note of it somewhere for future opportunities to delight them! Pay attention to the clues. At the Hotel at Auburn University, each hotel employee carries preference pads. They all pay attention to guest preferences so they can use the information to surprise them on their next visit. You can also ask for the information. In your discovery period, as a customer about their favorites, their hobbies, their wishes, etc. Have a process for keeping those notes somewhere for when you might want to WOW them with a personalized surprise.
- It’s All About Relationships. This is what we’re realizing in our own Red Carpet world. Our primary job when it comes to spreading the word about the red carpet way is simply to expand, maintain and strengthen relationships with our audience members and our customers. Keeping in touch with people. Being helpful. Reaching out in a variety of ways just to stay in touch, show appreciation and be thankful. One of the ways we do this is through our Love ‘Em Up efforts. To give credit where it’s due, the term Love ‘Em Up came from my coach Fabienne Fredrickson with Boldheart, although we use it a little differently at Red Carpet Learning. Every team member has a set of notecards and once a week, each one of us sends them out to customers, partners, prospective customers, and people we’ve met along the red carpet journey. It’s random in terms of who we send them to, but it’s systematized in that we all do it weekly. Usually, we’ll take photos of the cards and post them on Slack, our communication channel. Ask yourself, what am I doing to strengthen the relationships I have with my customers? What more could I do?
There are my 3 suggestions for adding WOW to Your Work! What are yours? Comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
Donna Cutting, CSP is the Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, a training firm that works with organizations to help them create cultures of happy employees delivering extraordinary service. She’s the author of two books, including 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers. For video tips visit us at theredcarpetway.tv