One of the things that I’ve been most blessed with in my life is my travel. Growing up my family made it a priority to travel every single year. From big cities to small towns, I learned to love new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. Eventually we began to travel internationally. And once that started, we kept pushing our parents to continue!
One of my favorite things that came from our travels was staying in unique hotels. Each locale brought something new. As an frequent negotiator with my family, I often talked my dad into booking the most interesting hotel I could find. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But on one particular occasion I got particularly lucky. While planning a trip to see my sister studied abroad in India, we happened upon a fantastic deal for the Oberoi Rajvilas hotel. Since no one in their right mind travels to India in the middle of the summer for fun (because it’s 117 degrees,) we got a once in a lifetime experience.
The beauty of the place is now only a faint memory in my mind. It wasn’t palatial or grandiose. It was understated, natural elegance. The picture above is from a room similar, I think, to where we stayed. I remember walking in the room and being not impressed by how it looked, but how it felt. And that’s still what I remember. Somehow this entire place had a beautifully calm feeling to it. I remember greenery, water, lots of natural light, comfortable bedding, and interior design that was so well put together because of how understated it was. The design wasn’t the show, the calmness was.
Now, above even the beauty, was the service. Everyone was incredibly kind, helpful, knowledgeable, and capable. But not in a corporate robot type of way. In a way that showed each person was individually given the ability to provide for customers in whatever way they thought was necessary. You could tell that their employees genuinely enjoyed and took pride in this notion. From knowing where our luggage was at all times, to knowing where our other family members were on the property when we didn’t (ok, that was a little bit creepy!), to remembering all of our names, they put forth the effort.
Now, what am I trying to say from all of this? That what we remember most from any of our experiences, is the feeling. Good or bad, unless something is extremely intense, we remember little bits here and there. I remember very few specifics about this hotel as the trip was 13 years ago. But I do remember the feeling that their customer service provided me with. And that feeling was calm, cared for, and genuinely valued. I remember making true connections with staff members, looking forward to talking with them each day we were there.
And that’s what customers will remember about working with us years from now, a feeling. The fantastic design will surround them everyday to enjoy, but the memory of working on the project will naturally fade over time. But, if you work hard to provide an experience that equals the beauty of your designs, that experience will remain in their mind. It will remain as a wonderful time spent creating their dream home. It will be a feeling that they will tell others about, just as I am doing now. Because when we provide for our customers a well thought out experience, their emotional connection with you is one that will never fade.