In customer experience, it's the little things that count.
I recently stayed at a hotel in Amsterdam. It was a good hotel. It scored 20 out of 30 on Google Reviews, 4 stars (and thumbs up) on booking.com, and was ranked the 34th (out of 331) best hotel in Amsterdam on TripAdvisor.com.
It was right next to Centraal railway station, only 20 minutes from Schipol Airport. The front-desk staff was helpful. Check-in was painless. The room had an Apple iMac with cable TV and free Internet access. Wi-Fi was included. The room was clean. The free toiletries were upmarket. The bed was comfortable. I had a great sleep. Breakfast was above-average. Guest services was efficient in organising taxis to my destination.
It had all the makings of a hotel to be thoroughly recommended.
But I still came away slightly annoyed by my experience.
Why? Because for the three days I stayed there, an ice bucket remained in the corridor just outside my room. It was a small thing. It could've been picked up at any time by any member of staff passing by. By the cleaning staff passing through two to three times a day. By room service attendants. By the night porter checking for door-hung breakfast requests at 2 a.m. And, even worse, by the loyalty programme rep who slipped my new loyalty card under the door.
It's this attention to detail that tainted my experience. Don't get me wrong, it won't stop me from staying there again. But it’s a frustrating example of how a brand sometimes forgets the small-but-important details. And sometimes, for me as a consumer, it tips the balance. Especially when hotels are becoming uber-competitive and collectively raising their game.
This also means there's opportunity to enhance the customer experience by doing the small things. Sometimes we get paralysed into thinking that improvement requires a massive overhaul. But sometimes it just means saying thank you to your existing customers, greeting new customers with a well-thought-out welcome programme, or providing customer with recommendations for other products you know they'd just love.
So yes, sometimes you need to refit your hotel and put iMacs in every room. But sometimes you just need to pick up that one little ice bucket.
Small things make all the difference.
1) White Paper: “20 Ways to Personalize Content and Enhance the Customer Experience”
2) Video: “Integrating Rating and Recommendations into Your Marketing Content”
3) Blog: “Make Your Marketing More ‘Bobular’!”