Say you’re going on vacation. A nice hotel somewhere on a beach. And while this hotel is a well-known brand and the location is in a westernized part of the world, still, you have never been in this area and so naturally, your guard is up. You look around to take in the surroundings during the 40 minutes ride from the airport.
Arriving at the resort, after a nice conversation you get the map of the place from the front desk person and start a mini-scavenger hunt to make it to your room. Everything is new. The sounds, the language, the weather. You are trying to place key locations in your head, so you remember how to get there later – the restaurant, the beach volleyball, the bar.
It’s a 4 days, long weekend vacation and you want to make sure you also explore the town and so you plan on taking a couple of tours to some recommended places.
A couple of days go by. You got to know the place quite well by now. It’s 6pm local time and you are in a taxi on your way back from another amazing trip to a nearby nature phenomenon. You left early in the morning, it is a long tiring day. All you’re thinking about is the shower and making it to dinner. The driver drops you off at the entrance to the hotel. By now, you know the place. You feel comfortable and you are on autopilot heading to your room. You walk in, turn the lights on, look around at your belongings, at the clothes laying casually on the chair since you left them like that this morning and find yourself completely calm and thinking – home sweet home.
What did this hotel do during these 3 days to get you from a guard-up, and a high level of uncertainty to making you feel completely at ease and…at home?
"The food, the service and the design are simply ingredients of a recipe of the human connection"
When you arrived, the person at the front desk said things like: “Mr. Jones, we have been expecting you, how was your flight?”. Or “Mr. Jones, go ahead and go to your room and please, if there is anything there you want to tell me about, my name is Laura and ask for me when you call the front desk”
Then, when you arrived in your room, your name was on the TV screen welcoming you.
On day 2, when you arrived to the hotel restaurant, the host greeted you by your name and asked if you would like to sit at the same place you sat the day before.
And when you were laying down by the pool, one of the hotel employees walked by and reminded you there is a Yoga class starting in 20 minutes because “you asked about Yoga yesterday right”?
And to top it all off, after dinner last night, the guy from the bar (from the bar!!!!) went and got you a special kit just for you, of s’more after you and the group next to you chatted about how you love making s’more. At the bar!!
Yes, this is good service indeed. The hotel staff constantly made sure their guests feel at home by making them constantly reminded that they, the hotel staff, are thinking about them, the guests. Throughout your stay, they planted these small Emotional Anchors that got you to experience an emotional experience and created that home-like feeling for you.
But how? What is required to make your guests, your clients to feel loved?
Yesterday, while driving back to the airport from a relaxing weekend by the lake, I noticed the sign for the next exit mentioned the name of the town this exit leads to, which was the same name as a client of mine. Their first name. I could easily just chuckle to myself and that was it. Instead, I decided to get proactive, so I pulled out my phone and was able to snap a picture. The next morning, during an online call, I shared that picture and got this client to feel loved. Just a bit. It was emotional, also just a bit.
On one of my latest flights, I got upgraded to first class. It was a large plane and first class had about 36 passengers. I heard the purser behind me talking to the passenger and calling him by his name. Then, he turns to the lady next to him and calls her by her name as well. Then he came to me and calls me by my name and so I had to ask. He said he maps the passengers and memorizes (at least tries) their names as “getting personal with them makes them feel like I care”.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. Whether you’re in software, life-science, a doctor, a flight attendant, a PT, a trainer. Doesn’t matter. We all need to feel loved. And for your clients to feel loved all you have to do is pay attention and be proactive. On your next Zoom call with them, pay attention. What do you see? On your next phone call, ask, and listen. What do you hear? On your next face to face meeting, look around, what do you notice? And then, be proactive. Do something with it. Trust me, when they feel loved you will feel it as well.