I recently enjoyed a fantastic 5-day cruise with my family. We had amazing food and service throughout our trip. We wanted to stay on the ship for its next trip, but we had to get back to real life. Here are a few things from my cruise that you can apply to your business.
Learn their names and greet them like a friend. The first day we arrived, our cabin steward and our wait staff made sure to meet each one of us and learn our names. Through the rest of the cruise, they greeted us by name and made us feel like a friend. In reality, we only spent 5 days with them and Ida from the Philippines and Jaime from Peru are now focused on a different set of guests, but they made us feel important while we were on their ship. When you see a client or speak to them on the phone, greet them with excitement to hear from them. Let them know how important they are to you by asking about their day and treating them like a friend.
Give them a First Class experience. The kids quickly learned that eating in the ship's dining room was much fancier than going to McDonald's. We were expected to follow a dress code and in return that they placed the napkins in our lap and handed us an opened menu. They expertly served multiple courses and finished it off with dessert. We felt like we were treated like royalty. You can make your clients feel that way by delivering outstanding service and acting professionally.
Offer something standard as well as something new. The menu each night included one page of standard offerings that we could choose from any night on the ship. There was also a page of “today only” choices. We knew there was only one chance to have one of the daily choices, but if we did not care for any of them, we could always fall back on the standards. You can offer standard services that your clients can count on, but do not forget to bring out some limited time specials that will entice them to try something new.
Refill the water glass before it runs out. The wait staff was very attentive to our needs and continuously refilled our water glasses before they became empty. Watch for your clients' needs and fill them before they run out.
Give them something to look forward to and surprise them at the end of every night. Each night while we were away at dinner, our cabin steward was busy preparing our room. We returned to find our beds turned down and chocolates waiting for us. We also eagerly anticipated the surprise that would be waiting for us. Each night our steward folded a new animal out of towels and left it on our bed. What can you do to surprise your clients and give them something to expect? The little extra things you do for them make the experience of working with you more fun.
These little details stand out to make my cruise experience better. Find the details in your business that you can improve upon to give your clients a great experience working with you. When they have a great experience, they want to “stay on your ship” and tell their friends about the experience. That equates to increased retention, referrals, and revenue for your business.
Even though it felt as if all of this just magically “happened” for us on our cruise, you can bet that every detail was well thought out and planned by the cruise line. If you are ready to up-level the client experience in your business, take a look at all of the relationships in your business and create a PLAN for the kind of EXPERIENCE you want them to have so that you can maximize your revenues.