I’ve engaged in cross-country travel for 17 years, and have spoken in each of our lower 48 states. I’ve stayed in so many hotels, they now sort of all look alike. I’m sure the hotel chain marketing execs who work hard to create “brand loyalty” would cringe at that, but it’s true. Truthfully, I’m not very hard to please. If my room has a bed, TV, running water, and a coffee pot—I am very happy.
But recently, I stayed at the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, Florida, and witnessed something I’ve never seen before. This:
Trust me, I didn’t fold them.
Now, the place wasn’t perfect. The room service was limited and an A/C unit in the bathroom ceiling dripped some water that I had to mop up—but I’d go back. Why? Well, the 78 degree temps in January help, but mostly because an unnamed housekeeping person went above and beyond.
When I saw those clothes on my extra bed that day, a gas station back home immediately came to mind.
I regularly stop at the Conoco Gas N’ Go on Bridge Street in my town of Brighton, Colorado. Their gas is no cheaper than the others and it is four blocks out of my way. But I still go there—regularly. And the reason is simple: clean restrooms.
The owner, Don, provides his customers with the cleanest, shiniest, and possibly most germ-free bathrooms west of the Mississippi. He doesn’t sell other things I might buy such as coffee, mints, and my favorite daily newspaper. But the station that’s closer—and does sell those things—has restrooms so dirty I wouldn’t take my dog in there.
Maybe they think a clean bathroom is an unimportant detail. I don’t know, but Don understands otherwise.
The lesson he offers for outstanding organizations of all sizes is that when it comes to taking care of the customer, there are no little things. Everything matters. Everything makes an impression. Every single thing we do will make our customers more—or less—loyal.
Maybe the Florida hotel housekeeper and Don went to the same “customer service” training class … or maybe they just get it. Some people do just get it, you know.
Tend to the little things—today—and the customer might just come back tomorrow.
What little things does your organization do well—and what could be done better?
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