This article is coming to you from the gorgeous South Pacific island of Bora Bora, where Shelli and I have come for some R&R, and some pretty spectacular scuba diving adventures.
I can honestly say it is one of the best vacation experiences I have ever had – and that’s not just because of the incredible Polynesian setting, where we are at the Four Seasons resort in a wonderful bungalow that is perched on stilts right out over the beautiful blue-green water. And it’s not just the world-class scuba diving opportunities (I’ll have more on that in another article). What really is making this vacation special is how specially we have been treated by the people here.
It started right when we arrived on the island and were met by representatives of the resort who really seemed delighted to see us. From there, we were brought by boat to the hotel property where we were greeted warmly by the reception manager and given a thorough explanation of where to find everything we needed, before we were taken to our bungalow with the awe-inspiring view.
Now, I know that friendly, attentive service is something to be expected at a high-end resort hotel, but there was something so genuine in the smiles and attitude of everyone there that made us feel truly welcome.
It showed in the little things. For one thing, they had taken the time to learn how to pronounce our names. That was not a big deal for Shelli, maybe, but in my years of travel I have heard many mangled attempts at my name, so I was impressed with that. And every employee we encountered on the property greeted us by name throughout our stay, meaning they must be well briefed on their guests.
We were asked what kind of wine liked and what cocktails we preferred. We didn’t have to mention it after that. They remembered. I mentioned that I liked Indian food and our next dinner was one of the finest Indian meals I have ever enjoyed. Everyone who came in contact with us – from our servers to bus boys to housekeeping staff to anyone we passed by who wore a hotel badge – exemplified this level of value. We felt so welcomed and pampered that I quickly forgot about the cost and just luxuriated in the experience.
This is what I am talking about when I talk to dentists about providing the best possible patient experience. It’s not just about being friendly and attentive. It’s not even about getting to know things about the people you serve. It’s what you do with that knowledge to make their visit feel truly special. That’s what really counts. That’s how you demonstrate that you are really listening and learning, and that you are truly committed to delivering the best experience you can for that particular person. That’s what memorable experiences are made of.
(Like this article? Click here for more advice from Imtiaz Manji.)