By: Molly Grubb, AIF®
Without increasing the number of transactions, you can increase your bottom line by simply exceeding your customers’ expectations. You don’t just want to satisfy your customers; that is what being average means. Competing on price is how your company will fall into the commoditized vortex and price itself out of business — all because you didn’t blow your customers away with a phenomenal CLIENT EXPERIENCE. That is it. Those two words, client experience, are how companies like the Ritz Carlton can charge well above the average hotel price.
Customers don’t want to feel like they are a number — they want something customized to them. Now this may seem impossible if you are working with a high volume, but the Ritz Carlton has well over 1000 guest stay with them every night, and they have “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentleman.” You must have an open forum with your employees that will allow them to provide an amazing experience. The Ritz provides a $2,000 allowance per day for each employee to provide that WOW experience to his or her guest.
Disney World honors their employees in a corporate newsletter for going outside of their job description to add that special magic in their guests’ experiences.
If you have an office or lobby, it is all about providing your guests a very calming and educational environment for ALL of their senses. Here are some ideas:
- Provide a welcome sign with the guest’s name inserted.
- Have a wall-scent plugged in.
- Offer freshly baked, warm chocolate chip cookies.
- Do not have industry-related magazines or television in the office. Instead, have items that describe your guests’ dreams and aspirations.
- Depending on your business, have couches for guests to lounge in.
- Provide a menu with beverages to pick from, all made-to-order.
- Provide unique drinks, whether it be the shape of the bottle or the type of drink; serve sodas in small, cute 12 oz bottles, use Fiji water and provide Perrier sparking water.
- Record guests’ beverage and/or snack preference: if a client comes in and asks for a sparkling water, that gets recorded, so at the next meeting a sparkling water is waiting for him or her.
- If you want to go above and beyond, record in your client management software the guest’s spouse’s, pets’ and kids’ names, so you can ask how they are doing when your guest next comes in.
As a team, implementing the practice of recording drink preferences and names of family will set you up to have a customer for life who becomes a raving fan.
Some of the artwork and decals we use do provide some historical reference to our industry in an artistic way. We use teal as our primary color in the office, as blue has a calming effect, and the green mixture is a part of our logo. Some additional calming items you can place in your offices are a fireplace and/or a fish tank (or this could be simply displayed on your TV). If you are a service industry professional, having a mixed-use boardroom is ideal; the baby boomers prefer to get deals done at a boardroom table and the millennials prefer a living room setting with couches. Place pictures of your family and things that are important to you, and even pictures of clients, where they can be seen. Despite people being more interested in their phones these days, they really want a way to connect with you and know who you are and what you are about. You want to have your clients leaving your business feeling like they are truly a part of your FAMILY of clients, and that you genuinely care about their well-being.
Bottom Line: Paying attention to the small details to provide a phenomenal client experience will enhance your value, allowing you to charge what you are REALLY worth, rather than being average and competing on price.
This blog is a publication of Grubb Wealth Management. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of any subjects discussed. A professional advisor should be consulted before any investment decisions are made. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author on the date of post and are subject to change.