Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Great Customer Experience Is Your Best Business Card

A place worth to recommend.
If there is something I'm convinced of is that a personal, genuine recommendation is worth more than all paid advertising in the world, specially when done spontaneously, voluntarily, without any prior commitment or obligation of any kind, whether economic, professional or even personal on the recommender’s side.

And this is the case that occupies me today and which I want to share with you: A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to stay in a hotel located right downtown in a city that has captivated me for its beauty, Santiago de Compostela, to which I will sure return with my wife and kids, and certainly with great pleasure.

Anyway, my stay in this hotel proved to be one of those experience well worth not only to repeat, but to recommend and share with you, and that's what I’ll be doing.

Everything must start with a good product that does what it's supposed to do.

And since this was the hotel chosen for a business trip, the main use I would make of it was very simple: TO SLEEP!

After each day's work and after sharing with friends, the idea I had was to get to the hotel, take a good shower and simply go to sleep, to rest, throw my bones on the bed and enjoy all available hours to recharge my batteries and wake up as fresh as new, fully prepared for next day’s job.

And in my case, the comfort of the room, its decor, lighting, the arrangement of all various details, the towels in the bathroom, the quality and softness of the bedding, pillows, well ... all of it conspired to offer me an opportunity to enjoy four nights of deep sleep, relaxation and full recovery of my energies. And I don’t mean it was a humongous, luxurious room, quite the contrary. A very simple room, but tasteful room .

Point number one, fully accomplished: The product did what it was supposed to do, and did it in an extraordinary way, that’s why you can see my “I’m happy” face on the side picture.

Then we have to move on to the experience surrounding product use or what people like to named “value added”: food and service.

One of the nights I had scheduled a get together with some friends and we agreed to meet at the Cathedral of Santiago’s main entrance, to enjoy a couple of drinks and share a bit of good energies together.

Since I'm not familiar with the area and it was completely dark when I arrived at the hotel, I was disoriented and didn’t know in which direction I had to walk to get to meeting point with my friends.

The hotel’s receptionist very kindly offered me all the information I needed so that I did not get lost in the area, and even recommended me a store I could go to buy a little something I wanted to offer my fellow coworkers.

She even took a pencil and drew the route on a map, so I couldn’t possibly make any mistake, even though the distance separating the hotel from the Cathedral of Santiago should not exceed 500 meters.

Remember, I am not from the area and the night was pitch dark ;-D

Based in my experience, dining in the hotel during a business trip is an optional thing you can either do or just eat out, wherever is more convenient to you.

During my stay, and to my complete satisfaction, I decided to take breakfast at the hotel the whole three days I stayed there and I don’t regret it at all: well-educated, attentive waiters, willing to offer a satisfying customer experience, going beyond what their immediate duties are to make me feel comfortable and at ease.... that’s customer service.

And then the food, carefully prepared, beautifully presented at least for my eyes, all clean .... really nice.

I know I could have taken a better picture, but when I took this one, I had not yet considered the possibility of writing this post, so... you understand.

You can be excellent even in the small things.

Note that although it was only breakfast, I mean, a simple meal, hotel managers did their best to take advantage of the opportunity and use it to create a remarkable, highly impacting customer service experience.

And I almost forget to mention that the last day of my stay, they got a taxi outside of the hotel to take me to the airport and opened the kitchen early to prepare my breakfast. What more can you ask for?

And finally, what all businesses want: The recommendation.

And before I sincerely invite you to visit this hotel on your next trip to Santiago de Compostela, I want to emphasize the process that generated my recommendation:

  • A product that does what it is supposed to do, in a more than satisfactory manner.
  • A proposal of additional services and added values ​​that complements and openly benefits overall customer experience with your product.

If the quality of the rooms had not been good, I would not have been able to sleep well or deeply rest as I wanted, therefore none of the other things would have happened and my experience with the product would have been negative.

Everything else was just an addition for a product that completely met my expectations and offered me what I was expecting to receive from it.

Don’t forget that. As I wrote in a previous post:

Brand loyalty begins with a positive product experience .

And now I offer you the contact information for the place where I did stay so that you can stay there on your next trip to Santiago. And tell them I did recommend you :-D

Hotel Costa Vella.
Calle Puerta de la Peña, 17
Santiago de Compostela.

Related articles in this blog :
The Deep Relationship Between Expectations, Experience and Your Business Success
Advertising: The Power of a Testimonial.

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