Today’s consumer has extremely low expectations. Aside from New Jersey, when was the last time anyone pumped your gas for you? Much less checked the oil and cleaned your windshield. For the “kids,” that used to be standard fare when you filled up your car for 25 cents per gallon. Department store clerks used to be more than cashiers. Waitresses and waiters used to be more than food carriers. But today, we have grown to accept mediocrity in our lives. And that’s a good thing…
For us. When you think about it, how hard is it to exceed “suck”? If we are conditioned to accept a mediocre product or service, how difficult is it to exceed that expectation? From my seat, it should not take much.
Let’s look at a travel experience that might suck. A consumer sees a call to action for a $399 7-night cruise from their homeport. We all know how that is going to end up; but for the sake of argument, let’s compare buying the product from a large online agency and you. The pricing is the same. The product is the same and it is not that special. All you have to do is suck less than the online agency—how hard can that be? I can think of a number of no to low cost actions that will put you leaps and bounds ahead including
- a personal phone call to the client thanking them for their business
- a pre-departure packing list and destination advice
- some hand holding if it is their first cruise or first time in a new destination
- a hand written welcome home card
Instantly, you have eliminated the “suck” out of a vacation. Now just think what you could do if you kicked that up a notch?
- meet them at their home or a coffee shop to discuss their expectations
- purchase a pre-departure goodie bag
- purchase an onboard amenity
- finagle an upgrade
- arrange for a day pass at a local resort while in port
- pre-sell them shore excursions
- make dining reservations in specialty restaurants
The list is endless.
While we all should strive to provide over-the-top service to all of our clients, we also need to remember that sometimes all it may take is sucking a little less than your competition. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment!