On one of my birthdays, I happened to be on holiday and staying in a hotel.
I was having breakfast with my wife, when two waiters arrived singing “happy birthday to you” and carrying a cake adorned with a sparkling candle.
I was delighted and speechless for the surprise. During the next days, we enjoyed observing the same feeling on the face of another lucky guest.
I can’t avoid thinking back on how the hotel was able to translate customer focus into guest satisfaction: the real cost is not in the cake, which is minimum, but in the effort required to manage the organizational part.
The hotel needs to gather the customer’s data at reception, associate the guest birthdays with their presence at breakfast and train the waiters on the procedure to follow (in the short time we spent at the buffet, they even managed to set the table with candles and decorative stones).
Actually, this anecdote is only the icing on the cake because our stay was full of satisfying experiences. What really amazes me is how all our good experiences were managed in a smooth and natural way: this can only happen when customer focus is deeply embedded in the company culture.
This is an accomplishment that requires some serious investment of time.