The Extra 20% That Makes Good, Great

The extra 20%By John Burwell, Jr. Service & Sales Coach

I am writing this week’s article from Vail, Colorado where I made an overnight stop to play golf at the Vail Golf Club, relax and spend time with my family. I have driven by this golf course 100s of times always wanting to play it. The opportunity presented itself and I took advantage of it.

I had a tee time of 10:50am, four hours earlier than the normal hotel check-in time. I told my wife to take the chance and see if she could get in early or at least store our luggage at the hotel until check-in time. Here is what my wife shared about her experience.

She pulled up to the front of the hotel and was immediately met by the front end person. He quickly introduced himself and asked her where she was from and what brought her and the kids to Vail today. She explained the overnight stay before we travel on to Denver for the rest of our trip and that I was playing golf. She asked if it was possible to check-in early so they could go spend some time in the Village until I was done golfing. He enthusiastically offered to see what he could do to make that happen. He led her and the kids to the front desk and asked the front desk person to see about getting them checked-in and comfortable as soon as possible. With equal enthusiasm the front desk person said she would be happy to make that happen. After some checking she told my wife that the room was already available but she wanted to check something first. Curious, my wife asked what she needed to check. Her response is what set this experience apart. She replied, “It looks like you could use a little more space. I found a bigger room with a balcony overlooking a creek that runs along the backside of the hotel. The room is 20% larger than the one you reserved.”

My wife picked me up at the course and when we returned to the hotel the same front end person welcomed my wife back and asked me, “How was golf?” Since learning earlier from my wife that I was walking the course (nearly 7 miles) he suggested I take a swim in their salt water pool and sit in the salt water hot tub to relax my sore muscles.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, they have to be like this and give great service because it’s a high end resort town and they are paid to do so. And yet, this kind of experience is not the norm. Because I am a Service/Sales coach I am constantly looking at any and all experiences for techniques that I can share with my team and all of you. The biggest thing I saw in all the people representing this hotel was their genuineness. They were obviously trained in their process for service and sales and yet were still themselves and let their personality shine through.

Two themes most prevalent during our stay:

  1. The enthusiasm of the staff.
  2. The strong connection instantly established by the questions and observations they made.

How can you utilize this experience and boost your team to demonstrate and deliver an excellent service experience? In a team exercise ask the following questions and have a group discussion around the team’s thoughts:

  1. How is my enthusiasm for our client demonstrated all the way through the service experience?
  2. How is my connection with the client? Have I learned as much as I can about them and their situation?
  3. Do I look to enhance the service experience beyond what is right in front of me?

The mere thoughts and then application will impact your customer’s service experience, securing our place with this client for the work today and in the future. They will share the experience and generate referral business for your company and for the individuals.


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