When it comes to customer experience, everything matters. The way a website looks and works, the way a brand’s service people talk with and treat customers, and certainly the way purchased goods and services are delivered.

Customer Experience

Recently, I was a first-time attendee at an event held at a large ski and golf resort, and despite having a terrific time with my fellow attendees, there were details that detracted from a smooth experience.

For the purposes of this post, I’ll call the resort “Tuesday Lake.” There are two sizable hotels at the resort, several miles apart. One, I’ll call the Pinnacle Grand, and the other I’ll call The Merlin. My reservation described my room as a Grand Merlin Standard.

So, which hotel was I supposed to go to—the one called Grand, or the one called Merlin? It was a small, confusing detail that could have been easily fixed if the resort had thought about it; it was evident that they hadn’t.

Once I arrived at The Merlin (having guessed correctly), I waited far longer at the front desk than I should have, while not one but two clerks conversed with a guest they knew personally. Eventually I got checked in, but the clerk failed to draw my attention to the welcome package for the event I was attending. The gentleman checking in behind me did get my attention and handed me the goodie bag.

The next morning, I noticed an empty beer bottle on the sidewalk near the hotel as I went out to run a few errands in the town nearby, and to meet up with some fellow event attendees for breakfast. When I returned two hours later, the bottle was still there; and it remained there until I scooped it up and disposed of it a few hours later.

The event I was attending was well run, and an all-around pleasant experience. My hotel room was fine and the on-site food was good. But it wasn’t a great experience. Small details had betrayed a lack of care, and there are some lessons to be learned.

  • Communicate very clearly with your prospective guests or patrons – first impressions really matter
  • Each guest deserves attention, whether an old friend or a newcomer
  • Anything that mars the appearance of your physical plant—especially something like a breakable glass bottle—should be dealt with quickly and never left to a guest to clean up

The event will be held at the same resort next year, and I will likely go if I am able. This time I’ll understand better which hotel I need to go to. But I’m hoping that there won’t be any small details which indicate that someone at the resort is paying less than full attention.

Everything your business does contributes to—or detracts from—the customer experience.

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