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This past week I stayed in a bed and breakfast in Burlington VT. Now, I have stayed in bed and breakfast residences before and have usually enjoyed my visits to them. However, this time, the Made Inn Vermont took the words customer service over the top and really turned it into a “customer experience.”

Good customer service is greeting you when you arrive. It is making sure your room is clean and ready. It is having information available for where to make dinner reservations and what to do in the location. For breakfast, it is serving a tasty hot meal and connecting you to the other guests if that is what you like.

A customer experience is doing these things, but ratcheting them up a notch. In the greeting, it is making you feel they are so delighted that you have chosen their residence. The room is not only clean and ready, but it has small touches that show they have thought about you as an individual. As most travelers are hungry and tired when they arrive, Linda, the owner, keeps a display of free snacks and drinks available in your room waiting for you. She not only was always available and accessible to make suggestions for dinner or area attractions, but she would insist on helping to make the reservations or print up discount coupons. I know she must have given the descriptions of the local restaurants hundreds of times in the past two years she has owned the B & B, yet, she acted as if it was the first time she had been asked that question.

Running a B & B is a very tough job and there are many tasks involved; the daily maintenance, billing, food preparation, food clean up, room readiness, etc. Linda and her staff did these tasks in such a way, that you forgot they were getting paid to be there and felt like they wanted to be there. When it was time for my departure, they made me feel like I had been part of their family and would be friends forever.

Good customer service is satisfactory and expected, but a good customer experience is memorable and priceless!

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