The Magic of Crafting a Great Guest Experience
We all want more customers, and we all want our customers to come back again and again… and hopefully again, and yet again! How do we do that? What keeps them coming back repeatedly?
Simply put… it’s delivering a great guest experience to your customers. Notice I say “guest” experience. YES!… we should be viewing our customers and patrons as GUESTS, and treating them much the same as we would treat an honored guest in our own home.
So how do you provide a great guest experience for your customers? – It doesn’t just happen. You need to actually create… or ‘craft’ …the type of experience you want them to have.
But before we can do that, we need to understand the elements that make up a great guest experience.
What Makes a Great Guest Experience?
So… what, exactly, makes a great guest experience? — Well, let’s start at the beginning.
If you’ve done a good marketing job, hopefully your guest has been anticipating their visit to your Club, Hotel, Dealership for days or weeks. Something they’ve either seen or heard has made them want to come visit you… and they’ve already got some kind of positive mental image in their mind. – What a fantastic place to start! — Let’s make sure we don’t disappoint them when they arrive…
1. Sense of Arrival
When your guest arrives, they should know immediately they’ve come to some place special… some place that thinks IT is special, and some place that thinks THEY are special.
The surroundings should be both inviting and attractive, and should make a statement that clearly reflects what they can expect from your establishment…
- homey & comfortable?
- chic & elegant?
- upscale & refined?
Dress up your sidewalks, entry way, foyer, and vestibule with mood-appropriate décor. Then couple that with gorgeous live lush plants in exquisite containers, artfully ensembled, and appropriately placed… and you can’t miss.
2. First Impression
Beyond delivering an impressive sense of arrival, it’s hugely important to make a superior first impression. The first few minutes of a customer’s stay at your establishment determines their mindset and attitude toward the rest of their stay.
If they have a fantastic first impression, more than likely they will have a positive attitude about their stay… expecting a great experience and ‘looking for’ every detail to line up with that expectation. They will be more likely to forgive service blunders and the like.
On the other hand, if they get a bad first impression… it takes a great deal of effort on your part to reverse that after the fact. Very likely, your new guest will be on the lookout for trouble, and is likely to find it (we often get what we expect).
Here’s a recipe for creating a great first impression:
- Establish a system for receiving your guests, and train your employees on that system. Make sure that system delivers the kind of experience you want each and every guest to have. (Learn more about creating systems within your business here.)
- Make sure their surroundings deliver positive ambiance messaging. In other words, create an atmosphere that speaks positive messages to the guest…
“we want you to be comfortable and relaxed”
“we have great service”
“we pay attention to every detail”
Coupling a great service system with atmosphere-appropriate décor and gorgeous, live, lush plants in exquisite containers, artfully ensembled, and appropriately placed… delivers a powerful first impression.
Ok, so your new guest has experienced an impressive sense of arrival, and gotten a fantastic first impression. What now?
Now it’s time to deliver on the expectation you have created by that very same sense of arrival and first impression. It’s time to deliver your own personal brand of hospitality.
What’s hospitality? The strict definition is…
hospitality – the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests
Here are some keys to great hospitality:
- Make them feel welcome
- Make them feel comfortable, relaxed, and pampered
- Anticipate their needs and provide them before they are requested
- Provide attractive, welcoming, and comforting surroundings
In short… be a great host right up to (and including) the very last minute of their visit. (Learn more about the ABC’s of Hospitality here.)
Crafting That Great Guest Experience
So, we’ve given you some steps to take to bolster the elements that make up a great guest experience… namely sense of arrival, first impression, and hospitality.
However, it’s important to view your establishment and your guest process through a fresh set of eyes. Here at Interior Plant Scapes, we understand how challenging that can be.
That’s why we offer free Ambiance Assessments. Let us evaluate how well your establishment achieves the ABC’s of Hospitality and give you a list of no-pressure recommendations to consider.
Schedule your Free Ambiance Assessment Today.