I’ve often heard that negative experiences stand out more than positive experiences and that they also tend to evoke more discussion. I would tend to agree with this in theory, but I still wouldn’t discount the fact that a strong positive experience definitely leads to a lot of discussion, especially if the opportunities to discuss these positive experiences are presented.
I just came back from my honeymoon in Belize. I tried to leave work behind, and for the most part I was successful. But I’m passionate about marketing, human behavior and our system of continuous improvement, so the theories behind my work still managed to creep its way into my thought process throughout our vacation.
It was really easy to tell the hotels, restaurants and services that were incredibly customer-focused from the ones that were not. The ones that excelled at going above and beyond were the ones we talked about with other travelers along our journey. Subsequently, they probably received a lot of business due strictly to word of mouth marketing.
I’m going to use the jungle lodge we stayed at in Belize as a wonderful example of how exceeding the customer’s expectations can result in word of mouth marketing, leads and/or sales. My husband and I spent the first three nights of our Belizean honeymoon at Macaw Bank Lodge in the jungle. The accommodations were quaint and beautiful, which we would expect from any reasonable hotel in Belize. What blew us away was the custom attention we received from the staff. The two men running the place (standing between me and my husband in the photo above) helped us come up with daily activities and itineraries based on our unique interests. They weren’t looking to make a buck from commissions on different “pre-set” tours. It was obvious they invested this extra time and effort in their guests because they were passionate about helping their guests experience the best of Belize. They don’t just approach their business with the usual mundane tasks and minimum level of effort. Their business is their passion and you can feel their passion in everything they do when running this place.
We appreciated their straight-forward manner, giving us the insider/local tips on everything. They would make no extra money by going above and beyond, giving us all of this information and advice, but they did gain our trust and confidence which is worth a great deal. They helped us see everything we were looking to see in a short period of time, and low on a dime.
After our stay at this jungle lodge, we went to Caye Caulker island and rented a small home from a local real estate management company. The stay was pleasant and we were satisfied with the accommodations, but in no way did they do anything to impress us or exceed our expectations. They did the bare minimum really. It’s unlikely I will recommend this company to anyone I meet who is looking to travel to Caye Caulker, because it’s really not worth repeating.
In contrast, I have already recommended Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge to other travelers we met on our journey, and I’ve written a very complimentary review on TripAdvisor.
What I want you to take away from this story is the importance of exceeding your customer’s expectations. Go above and beyond to impress your customers, and give them more than they bargained for.
We would love to hear some of the unique ways that you’re offering your customers more than they expected. I’m sure we can all learn from each other’s experiences.