In the Hospitality business, we want to deliver on our promises and fulfill those Customer expectations so that the experience becomes memorable. Easy to say, hard to do. Fulfillment – Amazon surely has this down with their regional fulfillment facilities. Add their latest invention – the delivery drone – and their customers will continue to be very satisfied. Bring a little innovation to your product and service, and you may be on the cutting edge, as well. Look at Applebee’s and their tablet for ordering and paying the bill. Or, consider the explosion of AirBnB and the impact on the lodging sector. They represent 192 countries and over 10 million nights booked worldwide. They came out of nowhere!
Getting your customers and guests excited and engaged, often with a concept totally out of the blue, becomes memorable. We see this all across the massive retail tent – with shopping, lodging and dining. Now, an airline has given us another example through a very inventive marketing thrust.
It all seemed so natural for the Christmas season. The Canadian airline, WestJet, offered their passengers a chance to speak with Santa Claus, via a video, just as they were boarding a flight from Toronto to Calgary (about two hours). Willing passengers shared their Christmas present wish-list and then on-boarded. Upon arrival in Calgary at the luggage retrieval area, presents – all wrapped and “ribboned” - came cascading down, addressed to specific passengers, as a result of their brief conversation with Santa just a few hours earlier. There were android tablets and wide-screen tv’s and even socks and underwear for the unsuspecting recipients.
As WestJet spokesperson Richard Bartrem said: "This year, we wanted to turn our holiday campaign into a tradition by doing something that's never been done ever before. Inspired by the notion of real-time giving, we wanted to surprise our guests with meaningful, personalised gifts at a moment when they least expected them."
What a great promotion! Memorable for all the right reasons, and it will live forever, thanks to social media. Perhaps, we all cannot be so inventive, but, surely, we can ramp up our creativity and emphasis on the customer experience. We can do things differently, listen intently to the insight and feedback of our customers, surprise them, even WOW them. This is how you etch a Brand in the mind’s eye – exceed expectations!
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, servicing our clients from offices and resources in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions and helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the National Football League, Avis Budget Group, Madison Square Garden, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit www.LRAworldwide.com.
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