Beyond the Horizon



Even occasional readers will know I delight in observations while traveling.   It’s so interesting to experience different!  Most of these notions from a recent overseas visit - - -

Retail Rocks!

During a holiday (it’s been too long!) my bride and I enjoyed shopping at the original Hermes store in Lyon, France.  The attention to the customer was mind-boggling!  An associate spent at least 45 minutes displaying, folding, contrasting and modeling scarves.  He was totally focused and engaging!  The entire customer service experience is designed to delight the shopper while in the store, regardless of whether or not there is a purchase.  I’ll never forget that intensity!  It was as if a family member showed you something bought on their holiday!

Not too far away was an ice cream shop in the “old town” of Lyon named Terre Adelice.  The Lyonnaise love their ice cream, but the wait outside still boggles.  During one of the warmest September evenings ever, the line snaked out of the store in a queue which lasted 25 – 30 minutes.  Go Figure.  By the way, we noted at least one other ice cream shop with a line within a few clicks of this one.

It gets better! 

You’ve likely NOT heard of a little pastry shop named Cedric Grolet Opera.  Check out the link once you finish reading and be sure to wander.  You’ll find they sell fan-crazing pastry and tarts for as much as 95€!  (You read that right!)   We stayed in a Paris hotel for two days and if Opera was open there was a line.  Amazing.  Note the umbrellas provided by the doorman managing the queue.  I can appreciate a nice dessert (especially when paired with a full-bodied California Bordeaux) but THIS is retail at its’ finest.

The list of WOWS at the Hotel Maïa in Lyon was close to endless.  Yes, it was pricey, and we expected 5-star service, but the attention to detail and to our unique needs was far beyond anything expected or experienced.  For example, taxis waiting to ferry us to the quaint bistros they had booked for us or remembering our names after just Day One or the almost immediate “maintenance” arrival when we had a problem in our room.  We-Were-Blown-Away!

The point of all these “travel” tales is simple:  Deliver extraordinary service that delights customers, and they will talk … be your ambassadors … come back … spend more … be with you for life!

If you are working in such an organization, how will you advance the cause?  Spread the word?  If not, what can you do to catalyze change?

If you are leading, how do you maintain focus, keep colleagues who work well together and have fun along the way?

There’s MaGIc in top-notch customer SERVICE, be that serving customers, community, country or your peers.  Find that role or create that culture and you will be well “rewarded” in every sense of that word!

Bon Voyage!

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