Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Little Things Make a Difference for Customers

Posted by Becky Carroll on February 21, 2007

cookie-beaver-creek.jpgWhat can you do for your customers that adds a memorable touch to their experience?  At Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado, they bake cookies!

Beaver Creek Resort is a sports destination offering golf in the summer and skiing in the winter.  It is geared to the vacation traveler who is looking for a luxurious place to hang their hat for the week.

However, it is the little things they do for their customers that earned Beaver Creek Resort the 2006 Best Overall Customer Service Program award from the National Ski Area Association

Beaver Creek Resort thought through the customer experience of someone coming to ski for the day.  What are their challenges, and how can we help? 

“My skis are heavy.”  Beaver Creek Resort has people who can carry your equipment for you.

“I have never skied here before, and I don’t know where to go.”  Beaver Creek Resort offers free Mountain Welcome Tours to newcomers.

“I can’t find a table at lunch, and I’m starving!”  Beaver Creek Resort has ‘Greet and Seat’ hosts, dressed in Western garb, who use radios to help you find an open table.

“Wow, that day of skiing was fun, but I am tired and a little cold.”  Beaver Creek Resort has a special Cookie Time.  At 3 pm each day, skiers are offered warm chocolate chip cookies by volunteers as they come off the slopes.  They even sponsor an annual contest for the best chocolate chip cookies.  The winner’s recipe becomes the signature cookie recipe for Cookie Time that year.

Yes, some of these ideas require extra staff to accomplish; Beaver Creek uses both paid and volunteer mountain hosts.  Some of these ideas are as simple as providing cookies.  All together, however, these “little things” make a big difference to anyone skiing at Beaver Creek Resort.  Potential problems have been addressed for them in advance, and skiers can come and have a memorable day in the snow.

Usually, there are small things we can do for our customers that can have a large impact on their current experience, as well as on future experiences when they come back for more.  How do you want your customers to remember their experience with your company?  What customer need can you meet?  What is your “chocolate chip cookie” that you can provide to make their experience more positive? 

I challenge you to build a “chocolate chip cookie” experience into your strategic plan for interacting with customers.  Be specific about it.  Don’t just let it happen randomly.  Deliberate planning makes good customer service into a great customer experience.

(Photo: Beaver Creek Resort)

5 Responses to “Little Things Make a Difference for Customers”

  1. KermitFan said

    Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference in customer experiences. One recent item that comes to mind is Service Untitled’s memory card delivery — complete with a lollipop. The extra touch made a positive impression, that’s for sure!

    I recently heard that the Westin Seattle is sponsoring relaxation breaks at the end of every day for their guests — talk about a great way to help business travelers transition in to the evening and out of work mode, and to bring a little touch of home.

  2. Yes, I loved that example from Service Untitled as well! It just tells the customer that someone was thinking of them.

    I will have to check out the Westin Seattle to see what those rumored breaks are about. It sure sounds nice! Westin has been making an effort to tune their customer experience, as they are realizing (as are other companies) that great experiences help make return customers.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. For a very similar reason, I always enjoy Doubletree Hotels:
    http://brandimpact.wordpress.com/2006/10/25/on-the-double/

  4. Thanks for adding your story, Steve. Indeed, when I think of Doubletree, I think of warm chocolate chip cookies! Never noticed the logo meaning, though; thanks for sharing that in your post.

  5. […] Little things make a difference for customers […]

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