Imagine, for a moment, that you have inexhaustible income and are staying at any five-star hotel in the world. What makes that experience so great?
For many, it’s not about the eye-catching furniture or the posh bathrooms in the room. The one thing guests of five-star hotels most often remember is the unmatched and highly personalized service. Thanks to new technology, that same level of service is just around the corner for the corporate world.
According to Forbes Magazine (2014), there are only 97 hotels in the world with a five-star rating. That is only 97 out of more than 300,000 hotels that earn the highest rating. There is exclusivity that surrounds luxury palaces like the PAND Hotel or the St. Regis in San Francisco or The Dorchester in London. That exclusivity and treatment of royalty surrounds the guests of such hotels and will soon affect the corporate world.
Prior to the age of technology, five-star hotels separated themselves from the rest through superior customer service and lavish accommodations. Today, those accommodations are more personalized as technology allows staff to quickly find and analyze each guest’s needs and desires. If a guest is a returning visitor, the personalization is even more tailored.
When you walk into a five-star hotel, the doorman is in high spirits and greets you with utmost respect, the ambience is calm and relaxing and the atmosphere is quiescent. Everyone from the valet and the bellman to the cleaning services and hotel manager knows you by name and knows enough about you and your travel plans to make you feel like royalty among hundreds or even thousands of other guests.
Those little details and nuances already exist in some parts of the corporate world, and new technology and software are making this type of experience even more accessible for businesses around the world. Creating personal experiences is critical, industries that rely on relationship building such as corporate real estate, corporate consulting, strategic planning and business-to-business sales, in order to generate healthy profits. This criticality is even greater within the b2b community where losing one client can have detrimental impacts. By the same token, an exceptional relationship with one b2b client can earn loyalty and referrals. It can speak volumes about your company culture.
When you have hundreds or thousands of clients, how do you treat or make each feel special and provide the level of service of five-star hotels?
Truly knowing your customer goes a long way. Technology allows you to keep meticulous records of clients, so you can personalize each note, meeting or transaction to cater to the needs of each unique customer.
Remember appointments and send updates. Sending out a personal reminder to your customer shows that you remember your client and that your meeting is important. Including details like maps and important phone numbers saves your client valuable time.
Have friendly and well-prepared doormen or receptionists. Nothing makes a greater impression for a client than a positive and welcoming atmosphere created by the people who first greet them.
The expectations of your clients are fast changing, and it is important to take extra measures when it comes to building strong relationships with your clients. By maintaining awareness of your clients’ preferences and needs, you can propel each transaction to an exceptional level that places your organization with the top echelon of providers. Remember that treating each client like royalty will earn you a lifetime of loyalty.