There’s a reason whoever coined the expression “going the extra mile” chose to use a mile as the unit of measurement. It’s because, as anyone who has ever walked a mile will tell you, it’s not all that far. Sure, it takes a little effort, but nothing excessive, which is to say, it’s very doable.
That’s exactly the idea behind “going the extra mile” with your service. It’s about performing that little bit extra or adding in that one additional detail to transform the entire value proposition of your service.
There’s plenty of success to be had for those who wander beyond the status quo, and it’s easy to do.
Sweat the little things
Your clients have chosen you! They didn’t have to. They had other options, but they’ve decided to come to you. Now you want to reassure them they’ve made the right choice.
In order to do so, you need to demonstrate to them that you appreciate the fact that they’re putting some big choices in your hands. It comes down to asking yourself what would make you feel like you matter.
Offering clients something to drink when they arrive, making sure they’re comfortable, and engaging with them beyond simply delivering basic service ensures that your clients feel like you’re taking the time to attend to not simply their future travel experience, but also their travel decision experience.
After all, the decision portion is the only part of the customer experience that you have 100 per cent control over. Take advantage of that to ensure it works in your – and your clients’ – favour.
Expectations. It could be argued it is one of the most important words in customer service. When clients seek your service out they are doing so with certain expectations of what they will receive, and they will evaluate your performance based on their pre-determined expectations.
When your service falls below those expectations, you fail. If you meet those expectations, you pass. But simply passing hardly guarantees your clients will return to you next time, or recommend you to their family and friends.
There’s a huge difference between adequate customer service and memorable customer service. If your clients ever walk out of your office thinking, “That was fine,” then you’re coming up short.
So how do you ensure your service consistently delivers above and beyond? For most people it’s about feeling that they are being recognized as people. That is to say, your clients like to know that they matter to you.
And the easiest way to do that is to show them that they matter to you. There are plenty of little things you can do to demonstrate this.
One option is to have a special package prepared for them upon booking. Even though you may have booked hundreds upon hundreds of vacations throughout your career, this is still a special moment for them. You can let them know that you recognize that fact by helping to make it truly feel special with something to mark the moment. So go ahead and pop that champagne (maybe even literally)!
Another option is to find out what their favourite wine is and having a bottle waiting for them in their hotel room the fist night of their vacation. It’s a great way to add that personal touch while immediately giving a boost to their vacation experience. Plus, clients can’t help it if they aren’t normally thinking of their vacation planner in the midst of their vacation of a lifetime, but a bottle of wine is a subtle way to remind them who helped curate their amazing experience.
Then there’s the awesome power of the handwritten note. Nothing seems to make a stronger impression in our digital world than the knowledge that someone took the time and energy to hand write you a thoughtful note and drop it in the mail. It sticks with the receiver.
It will certainly stick with your clients after their vacation, as they settle back into their daily routine, when suddenly a sweet hand-written note is delivered to them, thanking them, and letting them know that you are looking forward to helping them plan their next dream vacation, as soon as they’re ready to start dreaming about it.