French Lick Resort in Indiana has been chosen as the best Historic resort in the US and they are well known for their customer service. Great hotels and resorts do little things that say they care. I had the opportunity to stay there recently and was very impressed by my entire experience. When my friend and I had dinner one evening at the 1875 Restaurant, we were delighted to each be given a long stemmed red rose. It turns out they do that for all women who dine in the restaurant. That’s a little thing that says “You’re special”.
As we left the restaurant, I noticed some red rose petals on a couch and the floor in the lobby near the restaurant. I assumed a child had played with Mom’s rose and left the petals behind. It was only as I walked around the lobby that I realized management had strategically place red rose petals in various places. As I sat in the lobby and talked to my husband by phone, I realized that the petals on the floor at my feet made me feel valued and special. I was blown away at that tiny choice by management to make my stay even more special.
They had “rose petal touch” customer service.
Here are “rose petal touches” I’ve experienced over the years:
- The Blue Pearl emergency vet, who had to put our dog to sleep, sent us flowers and a donation in our name to the Humane Society.
- The Staples copy employee who personally brought me my copies after a mistake was made in the completion time.
- Costco gave me a no hassle refund when my printer went bad one week after the manufacturer’s warranty expired.
- The 1875 Restaurant that gave me a long stemmed red rose – with the thorns removed.
What’s your “rose petal touch”? What small choices and actions do you take that say to your clients, customers, or patients they are valued and special?
When I teach customer service, I call the interactive workshop The Art of Wow! A few months ago I bought a pair of SPANX hose. I was hesitant to do so, because they cost three times what regular ones did, but I thought surely at that price they would hold up better than the others. They didn’t. I had a run the first time and was kicking myself for buying them. I threw them in the waste basket. Bill (my husband) saw them and said I should send them back and complain. I didn’t think it was worth it. Unknown to me, he sent them back with a letter. Today a package arrived. He asked me if I’d ordered anything and I said no. When we opened it, I was stunned to find 3 new pairs of SPANX. My $18 disappointment turned into $114 win-win. I was delighted and they kept a customer and developed a raving fan.
That’s the Art of Wow!
We finally bought a car! It’s a used 2008 Toyota Camry. We didn’t buy it from a dealer. Those of you who read my earlier blogs about our car shopping saga, asked what we decided. We visited 5 car dealers, looking to test drive used cards to narrow our choice. Of the 5, 4 either didn’t treat us with honesty or with respect. Three dealers outright lied, and one showed no interest in helping us find what we were looking for – and they were a Toyota dealer. Turns out Camry’s are hard to find on the market and the salesman just wasn’t interested in working that hard. The one dealer who had great integrity and service, we ruled out because of the features of the car, not their work. So where did we buy our car? From a used car dealer we had purchased from previously. We had experienced his integrity a few years earlier when we purchased a car, so we went back to Jim Kennedy to see if he could help us find a Camry. He did, he charged a fair price, and we drove away – once again satisfied customers. Integrity pays – in repeat customers!
P.S. Just for fun – The name “Camry” comes from a phonetic transcription of the Japanese word kamuri (冠, かんむり), which means “crown“.
“I have a home because of you.”
Those were the words spoken to me today by Bill – the copy guy at my local Staples office supply store. Bill gets customer service. It was clear he understood that his service results in repeat business —AND in his having a job and a home. Bill says he gives great customer service and he does.
I didn’t always use Staples – I used a nearby competitor who shall remain nameless. I put up with poor customer service because it was convenient – until the manager tried to blame me for the store’s mistake. I had purchased a bulk supply of ink for my printer. One cartridge was bad, and when I went to return it, the assistant manager told me I it was my fault for buying in bulk because they had a 30 day return policy.
I walked across the street to Staples and met Bill – the copy guy. He is always smiling, always helpful, always greets me by name, and always does a great job on any project I bring him. Bill is this month’s integrity hero – he does what he says he will do.
Who is your customer service integrity hero?