The Omni Grove Park Inn was a spectacular place to visit the first time I went almost 25 years ago. It was so unique from the typical hotel chains in which I was usually booked. I still remember the feeling of awe rounding the corner of the mountain and seeing the massive stone structure on the side of the mountain overlooking an incredible view of the valley below. The staff was so attentive and made me feel they were just as excited to be working there as I was to be staying there.
Over the years, I have gone back time and time again and sadly watched as it became more of a tourist attraction for mobs of people to walk through than the intimate experience I felt the first time – until my most recent trip a few weeks ago. I knew something had changed when I called in advance from the road and asked how late lunch was being served on the rooftop balcony, as this was my most favorite thing to do. The receptionist who answered said they were closed at two but would reopen at 5 for dinner; however, she would see what she could do and politely asked if I could hold a couple of minutes. Wow, most employees would have just said “sorry, we will be closed at that time” and that would be end of conversation. While I was waiting on the phone, instead of listening to muzak, a voice message started to share the philosophy of the now Omni Grove Park Inn. It said they valued their guests and wanted each guest to have an “authentic, memorable moment at each touch point”.
A couple of minutes later, Ashley returned and said that while the main rooftop balcony would be closed till 5, there was a second rooftop eave directly below the main one and it had that same incredible view and served light fare throughout the afternoon. Her voice tone was sincere as she said “I really think you will be happy to have your lunch there and I hope you will come visit us today.” My first authentic memorable moment.
The parking lot was full, but I found a spot and was walking with my mother to the front of the hotel when I saw an employee eyeing my 85 year old mother looking up at the steep incline to the entrance. Without waiting for either of us to say anything, she said, “let me get you a golf cart shuttle to take you to the door, I have a hard time walking up that incline myself.” My second authentic memorable moment.
Walking into the lobby, the attention to detail created the feeling of coming home. The fireplace was roaring, coolers of cold lemon/lime water were available, comfortable seating, employees wearing name badges, clear signage, and a help desk, all conveyed that they had looked through the lens of the guest to design the area. My third authentic memorable moment.
As we ordered dinner, the waiter didn’t just take the order, he asked where we were from and shared where he was from. He explained the menu and offered suggestions. He built a relationship with us during the meal so we felt that when we left that we had been more than just another table for him, but a valued interaction. My fourth authentic memorable moment.
Four touch points, four opportunities to create a memorable customer experience. Touch points add up and when consistently reinforcing the vision, in this case, “authentic and memorable” it can make customers feel special and valued, not just one more tourist.
Walt Disney World knows the value of touch points. They know on an average day each of their guests will come in contact with up to 60 of their cast members. That’s sixty opportunities for them to create “happiness” which is their goal.
Every touch point creates an image, every touch point builds an impression, every touch point reinforces your brand. Do all your employees know the impact each touch point has on your customers?