While on a recent trip to Chicago on a family vacation, our interaction with three companies (service providers) helped make our trip a fantastic experience! Each company created a unique and personalized experience to connect with us (the client).
The first was the hotel we stayed at. The hotel I selected for the trip was found by searching the dozens of hotels available in the area where we wanted to stay, along or near Michigan Avenue (the Magnificent Mile). The goal was to find a “nice” hotel for a reasonable price. Like many clients searching for this type of service, I wanted something upscale (a brand that promised something special and/or unique) that was priced fairly compared to other similar hotels. My web search identified a hotel among all the options that fit my criteria.
As we checked in, the person at the front desk greeted us and promptly had our room ready to go. When I inquired about upgrading our room to get a better view of the lake, he said what he could do was give us a larger room. A nice touch! As we entered our room and settled in, everything was beyond what I had expected.
Even though I knew the brand and had high expectations for what we would receive, the hotel went “above and beyond” our expectations. Everything was top notch. It wasn’t so much the hotel or the room, but the little things that made the experience of staying here fantastic. The check in was welcoming and quick, employees greeted us as we entered the building or left to sightsee, the concierge was very knowledgeable and helpful, the towels were larger and softer than what I was used to at hotels. The hotel and room decor was flawless. The next time I travel to Chicago, where is the place I am likely to choose? Easy answer.
You have probably stayed at an expensive hotel that had some flaws in the lobby or in the room. You know, chipped paint on the wall, peeling wallpaper, or carpet that was worn or pulled. The little things matter.
The second fantastic experience came from the transportation service we used to get to events and sights. This experience was fantastic because of the technology they use to help you travel from your location to your destination. Their website is laid out so it is easy to understand the process of how to use the service. You can select the type of vehicle you want to be picked up in.
The most valuable part of their service is their app that allows users to use the service while out and about. It shows the driver and vehicle, their location (vehicle moving on a map), and time until arriving to pick you up. Since the service has your contact info from signing up, the driver can contact you if there is any confusion. The payment for the service is all done electronically so you don’t need to worry about having the correct amount of cash or even carrying cash for that matter. Quick and easy to use. Brilliant use of technology to create a unique user-experience and special connection with users.
Using the service on one of the trips, our driver got a little confused about the best route to take and made a few extra loops around the block to get us to our destination. At the end of a trip, users have the option to rate the driver and provide feedback. I let the company know that our return trip from the show was more expensive than the trip to the show. I received a quick response from an actual person (by name) saying they had reviewed the route the driver took and would reimburse me since the trip was longer and more costly than it should have been. They even reimbursed me more than I had expected. Mistakes will happen, no matter what the type of business. It is how you decide to rectify the situation that becomes important. Fantastic client service! Once again, the details make a huge difference.
The third fantastic experience was at a show we attended. The theatre and show has been around for decades. Although the theme of the show changes slightly the cast (employees) changes often. However, the experience of the show remains the same. The theatre provides an intimate setting where the performers can connect with the audience. This connection makes the audience feel like they are participating in the performance. It’s this participation experience that keeps crowds coming back again and again.
Each of our experiences with service providers on our trip is very similar to what clients expect from their experience with a financial advisor (firm).
Exceed your client’s expectations by delivering the little things to separate you from all the other options, connect with clients and deliver your services using technology, and let your clients participate in the process so they feel involved.
Create a genuine “experience” that makes your clients know they made the right decision selection you and your firm as their financial advisor.
Build your business wisely.