Customer Obsession Lies in the Details

Customer Engagement
Customer Service
It's often the details that elevate a customer experience from average to impressive.

It's often the details that elevate a customer experience from average to impressive. I experienced this firsthand during a vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico. My husband and I dropped in for a four-day vacation in the island of enchantment and it was easy to see where Puerto Rico got its nickname. We stayed at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel. Research shows that when a guest arrives, the first 20 minutes are crucial in creating a good first impression. The hotel staff took this seriously. We were warmly greeted by staff and when I inquired about the gym, an attendant offered to give me a tour and show me the quickest way to reach the gym.

Throughout our stay, the hotel staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The hotel has four swimming pools, which are open 24 hours and an attendant was always on hand to offer a towel, even at 2:30 am and 4 am (we made good use of the 24-hour policy). Housekeeping folded my husband's shirts which he had left strewn across the bed on our way out and even neatly arranged our phone chargers on the night stand.

But what impressed me was when I commented to the bellhop that I couldn't wait to open a coconut I'd bought earlier that day and a few minutes later, someone from in-room dining knocked on our door to open the coconut for me.

By the second day, I already knew we'd be coming back to the hotel. I'm not the only consumer who's a sucker for good service. Consumers will give more money to the businesses they feel emotionally connected to and are more loyal and profitable than average customers, reports Gallup.

Fully engaged hotel guests spend 46 percent more per year than emotionally detached guests, according to a Gallup poll. Additionally, a customer who is fully engaged represents an average 23 percent premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer.

In comparison, a disengaged customer represents a 13 percent discount in those same measures. Restaurants see similar results: engaged customers make 56 percent more visits per month than disengaged customers do.

The lesson here is that businesses that provide meaningful customer experiences realize greater rewards in terms of loyalty and profits.