Have you ever received such great customer service that you were wowed several times in one experience? Whether it be a hotel (Ritz-Carlton), a restaurant (Morton's Steakhouse), a retailer (Nordstrom), or a concert (Bruce Springsteen), they either do the unexpected in a unique way or everyone you come in contact with does simple things consistently over an extended period of time. It's the product AND the service. Well, I had such an experience recently at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Thank you, David Tyree and Matt Archer from ICC!) It ruined any future hotel experiences I will ever have. Well that's a pretty negative prediction, Mark. I know, but, hey, they spoiled me rotten!
On May 19, 1916, Spencer Penrose, the gold-and-copper mining entrepreneur from Philadelphia, purchased the Broadmoor Hotel and the adjoining 400 acres. His vision? To turn the Pikes Peak region into the most elegant and sophisticated resort area that he, or anyone, could imagine. He had the money to do it. The genius of Penrose was not limited to the construction and operation of a world class resort. He was a brilliant marketer who tirelessly promoted the resort. He built roads and railroads into it. He even built a first-class zoo. The Broadmoor's reputation spread by word-of-mouth and they came in droves. He attracted captains of industry, dignitaries, and even celebrities. The hotel has earned five-star, five-diamond status continuously since 1963!
I tried to dissect exactly what it was they DID. IT wasn't just the breathtaking property, the surrounding mountains, Lake Cheyenne, or the well-dressed staff. IT is all the little things the PEOPLE DO that stick with you.
Here is my short list of the ITs:
- All 2,800 employees SMILE and have a positive greeting. "Welcome to the Broadmoor," they say with conviction and sincerity.
- They make EYE CONTACT when they talk to you. You can feel the caring in their body language.
- ATTITUDE. They are polite, calm, and kind. They make you FEEL important.
- They call you by NAME. They make knowing your name a priority. Almost everyone does it! It's uncanny.
- They Go the EXTRA MILE in all things. When I asked the restaurant manager a few questions, she came back with the business card of the training manager, a half-dozen brochures, and inside information.
- They TRAIN and EDUCATE their employees like crazy. There are 50 classes at Broadmoor University where employees learn their roles and the core 16 Service Standards that all employees use throughout the day. They have created a Service Culture.
- They treat each other with respect. There is a FAMILY FEEL. They are the friendliest family you ever met. Danielle West, senior training manager, told me, "Our mission is to go above and beyond guest expectations."
The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft
Well done is better than well said.
If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com
There IT is: Going Above and Beyond Expectations. Now you see my problem; I have experienced IT and now I'm spoiled rotten. Next week I have to go the crummy, run-down, gone-to-hell-in-a-month Holiday Inn.
What will you do in 2017 to spoil your customers rotten? Invest a weekend at the Broadmoor Hotel and think about it. IT must be seen to be believed.