Those of you who have heard me speaking at conferences on the subject of obtaining referrals from existing customers to new customers will have heard me talk about the importance of ‘going the extra mile’ when it comes to delivering excellent customer service. Personally, I experience appalling customer service quite frequently and excellent customer service very rarely indeed, so in my experience the extra mile is not a very crowded place and it doesn’t take a great deal of effort to really stand out from the competition.
I also speak about the fact that if you want to encourage customers to refer you to others without you having to ask for those referrals, you have to do something really special – I use the term BLOW THEIR SOCKS OFF. In other words – do something so very special for your customer that they simply cannot resist telling others about you.
It’s not often I come across a company pulling that off as effectively as I experienced a few days ago and so I simply cannot resist telling you about it and them.
Last week I had a speaking engagement in Turkey and took the opportunity to tag on a well earned holiday in the sun with my wife Stephanie. We booked into The Hillside Su in Antalya. It was a very nice, five star hotel situated on the beach and although it was very well appointed, it was certainly not as luxurious compared to many others we have stayed at.
Never the less, it had pretty much everything we wanted, clean and comfortable rooms, a great pool and pool area, lovely beach area, bars, restaurants etc., and extremely comfortable sun loungers – beds in fact! The staff were all very courteous, helpful and nothing was too much trouble. They even had reading glasses one could borrow in the restaurants and bar areas for those who were struggling to read the menu and had left theirs in their rooms. Many other hotels maintain similar standards and so nothing to blow my socks off. And then…
Day 1 (and every day thereafter) at 11.45 am, a pretty young lady in a smart, white hotel uniform appeared on the beach and moved slowly from sun lounger to sun lounger, offering to clean guest’s sunglasses. She handled them so gently, polished them so efficiently, held them up to the light to ensure they were perfectly clean and handed them back with a lovely smile. THAT BLEW MY SOCKS OFF and I’m telling you about it and I’ve told a lot of other people about it.
That was going the extra uncrowded mile – with a smile, and for the hotel, an almost no cost exercise. A bottle of cleaning fluid, a few clean white cloths and the young lady was wearing a name badge with her job description beneath her name which said Trainee. She was therefore being paid a very low salary whilst learning every aspect of the hotel’s services.
Going the extra mile takes some imagination but need not be an expensive exercise. What can you do to blow people’s socks off and make them want to talk about you?