I was at the W Hotel in Leicester Square the other day.
If you’ve been there, you’ll know that it’s a lovely place. Beautiful rooms, a fantastic bar and a very premium-looking spa and gym. (You can probably guess that I spent more time in the bar than the gym!)
But there was one specific detail of the hotel that had an impact on me; perhaps even more than all the ‘obvious’ things:
Yeah, that’s right – the mat in the lift.
I was impressed by a welcome mat in a lift.
But hear me out, because I think there’s something all of us in business can take away from it.
As you’ll notice from the picture, the mat is emblazoned with the greeting “Good Afternoon”.
And if you’ve stayed at the W before, you’ll know that they don’t just keep the “Good Afternoon” mat in the lift all day.
They’ve got a “Good Morning” one and a “Good Evening” one too and depending on the time of day, they switch the mat, ensuring that the mat on display matches the time of day.
It might be a small thing, but it has an impact. And I’ll tell you why:
Whether it’s conscious or subconscious, the fact that they change the mat in the lift at least three times a day makes me think that the staff at the W are extremely conscientious about ensuring that their guests are looked after.
I mean, if they’re changing the mat three times a day, even though no one would be upset if they didn’t bother, what else are they doing to make sure my experience is a fantastic one?
If they’ve gone to the trouble of changing the mat, then I’m confident that they’ll go the extra mile when it comes to the standard of my room, the quality of my food and the service from the staff.
In short, that one act of changing the mat massively impacts on my peace of mind and level of comfort during my stay.
Which made me ask myself a question that you might want to answer too:
What are the little things we can do in our businesses to improve our customers’ experience and differentiate us from our competition?
When we’re looking to improve and grow our businesses our initial focus is often about how we attract NEW customers.
Now, as you know getting new customers is what I love doing, and I’m pretty good at it. But as I often remind myself – this shouldn’t be at the expense of looking after my existing customers.
And it’s the same for all types of businesses. We can all be guilty of neglecting the importance of our existing customers.
Accountants are the worst for this. If I had a pound for every time I heard the complaint, ‘I only hear from my accountant once a year when it’s tax time’ , around the Private Client table, I’d be a very, very wealthy man.
For an accountant, a simply monthly call to check that everything is okay could totally change the way the client feels and the effort to make this happen really is not that much.
It’s one of those little things that can have a big impact on a customers’ experience. Much more than the mat had on me, but with a similar amount of effort required to make it happen.
We should all be on the lookout for those little things we can do to improve our customers’ experience of what we do. The more touches we can provide that show we care, the better our customers’ experience will be. I’ll be focusing on exactly this in our business this February.