For Mother’s Day, my kids got me an overnight (which I shared as a girl’s night out with my daughter) at the Hotel Valley Ho Resort in Arizona. This wasn’t just any resort. This is a throwback to the 50-60’s era. This is where, when my daughter lived in AZ, I would come in and we would have drinks in the bar and laugh and enjoy ourselves. This is where we came in to talk with them about my daughter getting married. This is about my daughter actually getting married there last April. This is a place that we have been to, have fond memories of, and enjoy coming back to. This is a place we give repeat business, much like our suite leases and premium seating clients.
When my daughter got married there, Ryan was the wedding designer at the hotel (he now runs all the corporate events) and was with us every step of the way. Suggesting, picturing, recommending, and, above all, listening. He educated us in what works best/not best and gave some really solid tips to prepare to my daughter and son in law.
This week we took advantage of my Mother’s Day gift. Now one would expect a really great experience at a resort, just as one would expect a really great experience at any of our suites/club seats. But what the staff at Valley Ho showed us was appreciation and value as a returning client.
- Arrival. Ryan noted that we would be there and suggested that the desk let him know when we arrived. He then came up to visit for a bit, and share what is going on, his new role, my daughter’s world, etc. This is a true relationship. He still remembered the ‘unusual’ wedding (as only a Burrows could do!), and commented about it, bringing back memories. We may have a suiteholder that has a 3 year lease, and how often do we visit, talk with, share memories, or even know about them to carry on a great conversation? Do we rely on our retention group only? If you sold it, are you not staying in contact to show your appreciation and nurturing that relationship? Do you even know when the account holder is in the building?
- Special touch. Shortly after we started unpacking, champagne and a fruit tray was brought up thanks to Ryan and the hotel. He thanked us for once again returning. This showed me that he still values that relationship. Down the road, my daughter and her husband are moving back to AZ. There is future business to be obtained here. His appreciation goes a long way. If your account holder is in the suite, do you visit? Is there something special delivered from us? Or do we simply expect them to fill out their menu form with catering and end it there? What do we do when the account holder – or if it’s a special event happening at that game with special people in the suite – is in the building? Do we take a gift? Do we send up a unique appetizer? Do we even know? Do we let the other staff departments know that will be in contact with them during the game? What do we do to show them in front of their peers that they are valued?
- Once staff knew we were repeat clients, it was a most royal treatment. That’s not to say no one else was treated royally, however, it was true appreciation for ‘being with us again.’ “So glad you are back.” From servers to pool staff to housekeeping to maintenance. Everyone treated us as though we had won the lottery and were spending millions, when in fact, we were enjoying the hot summer rate :). It didn’t matter. Does everyone in the premium areas know who the key players are in each of our suites, club seating? Do they willingly give that extra smile, that extra appreciation, that extra feeling that they really are happy the key players are there?
- Upon leaving: “Was this stay as satisfactory as your first? Is there anything that needs to be addressed?” This said to me, my satisfaction is first and foremost to them to ensure that I will return. They addressed it head on, not in a later survey or waiting to catch social media to see if it was positive or negative.
- Extra touches for clients – no matter if first or repeated:
- Every 15-20 minutes, glasses of ice water were brought to everyone at the pool to stay hydrated. We care about your well being.
- A note from housekeeping with her name and the front desk number, stating that she personally prepared the room for us and if it needed something, please ask for her to hand deliver it. Each night, do your hospitality guests know who ‘prepared’ this suite/club seat? If they needed something, do they have a clue how to get ahold of us or does it go through the corporate chain of command which means it gets addressed an hour later – if then?
- The valet staff as we picked up our car to leave: “let me help you with any directions you need.” What do we advise our premium clients upon leaving? Good night? Do we ask if they want a recommendation for a spot for a drink or after hours snack? Do we suggest an alternate route that is easier to a highway if there is one?
- The valet staff giving you bottled water as you drive away. How many of our premium clients have enjoyed their evening immensely and a bottle of water to go would be a wise decision? At the cost of bottled water from some of the Savings Clubs, it would be a great touch.
Think back to the movie Pretty Woman. That hotel treated Richard Gere as the valued client he was. Maybe, just maybe, in addition to sales training, we should have high end hotel training as to how to best treat our most valued, repeat premium clients. EVERY client should be valued, however, when you are spending $100K or more on suite leases, there should be an even deeper appreciation and value shown. We may not have spent $100K, but we left feeling truly valued and appreciated.
The best sale you can make is a referral from someone who feels that value. If you’re coming to AZ, I would HIGHLY recommend Hotel Valley Ho. And if you are looking to do a conference or group event, make sure you tell Ryan we sent you. Great service, appreciation and value deserves recognition.
Kathy Burrows, CEO…Sold Out Seating
Sales/Retention/Leadership Training: firstname.lastname@example.org