Solid Gold

For all of you who have been following the saga of my friend’s lost iPhone, I’m happy to report that both Matt Eagles, a coordinator in Loyalty Services and Mary Simpson, Manager, Brand Service Excellence have committed to resolving the issue restoring my faith in the Fairmont brand.

A commitment to wowing customers does not need to be, nor should it be, limited to higher end businesses.  In fact, it’s actually easier to wow a customer when their expectations are lower.

Case in point:  Kristen Marie Schuerlein the marketing genius of Design Duo could not wait to share her recent experience at the Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas.  The Gold Coast is one of the inexpensive resorts located off the “Strip”.  A weekend seminar she was attending was being held at the property and the room rate of $29 set her expectations appropriately low. When she got home and realized she had left several items which were valuable to her and hard to replace in the top drawer, she assumed they were gone for good.

Still, she picked up the phone and called the hotel.  She told the person who answered the phone she had left items behind and she was immediately connected to housekeeping.  Housekeeping put her on hold and came back a couple of minutes later with a bag in hand containing ALL her items.  Kristen had pulled up her FedEx account number prepared to give it to Gold Coast when they said, “We’d be happy to send this to you.  Is this the address you would like it sent to?” and then they read off her home address from the registration information in the computer.  The Gold Coast even covered the cost of the postage to return her items.

Kristen has been happily reunited with her “stuff” and I had a similar experience with a treasured cashmere scarf purchased in Scotland which I left behind at the Hilton in Pasadena, California.  One hotel, Gold Coast is clearly budget.  The Hilton is moderate.  Both delivered solid gold service but in reality, you are probably more impressed with the response from the Gold Coast than you are by the same exact response from the Hilton.

The lesson for all business people; look in your business for places where customer expectations are lowest.  Spend some time trying to improve in these areas.  A small improvement will have a bigger “Wow” factor there than in the parts of your business where expectations are higher.

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