Image from a hotel website

Winning Customers For Life

We went on a holiday to West Ireland this week. Some of the most beautiful scenery in the world mixed with light rain, heavy rain, insane rain, heavy winds and early morning mist.

Our trips to Dublin this year for St Patrick’s Day and Springsteen were amazing. We talked to everyone, there’s was laughter and joy I’ve never seen before.

Galway and Killarney were different. We only met two American families , one English family and a couple from Australia.

At first, it worried us. Then we made the best of it like we always do, and saw this holiday as a time for quiet and thinking, rather than talking to everyone we can.

An interesting business experience happened as well.

Salthill Hotel in Galway was absolute heaven. Customer service was exceptional. Staff welcomed us as we entered. I asked for the best places to eat locally and Antonio told us an Italian restaurant we must try and the best way to get into town.

I can't drink milk and many places don't offer soya milk, preferring grainy oat or sweetness of coconut, none of which I enjoy in my flat white. Again, the staff at Salthill Hotel had no problems sorting me out and serving a superb flat white. The vegetarian options at the breakfast buffet weren’t what Rachel wanted, so they made her hash browns, mushroom and tomatoes and didn’t charge.

I’ve told friends and clients about their wonderful service at Salthill, how they overdelivered and this is a place we will come back to. They have a customer for life.

Compare this with the hotel in Killarney. We booked the hotel, yet were put in apartments “around the corner.” It took 7 MINUTES to walk in the pouring rain with a suitcase and bags. Nobody was at the apartment to greet us, and we then had to talk up two flights of stairs with everything. Nobody advised on parking. When we asked great places to eat locally, they said to eat at the hotel. There was no radiator to dry out wet clothes. The list went on and on.

When we complained, the manager personally came back to us within the hour apologised and upgraded us to the top suite in the hotel. Service improved, staff looked after us and it was a wonderful stay.

While you should always overdeliver in customer experience in business, sometimes you don’t get it right. We’re human and mistakes are made. What’s vital is that you sort things out quickly, take 100% responsibility and be sincere. Guess what? We will be back at the hotel again in Killarney.

Same goes with restaurants. Casita Mexicana was a small Mexican restaurant at the back of the car park in Killarney.  That’s right, a car park. Food was delicious and staff were friendly. Rachel tried a hot option for her meal and bit right into a chili. Her face went on fire. I told the staff and within 60 seconds, we had a glass of milk, sour cream dip and scoop of vanilla ice cream. They were super helpful, genuinely cared and received a generous tip.

Customers are taking longer than ever to make decisions.

When you care, overdeliver and look after people, it’s amazing how much can be achieved.

PS If you enjoy the popular 1990s TV sitcom Father Ted, visiting his home was nostalgic and pretty amazing, even while the heavy rain blasted in our faces.

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Niraj Kapur sitting on steps, looking at the camera

Niraj Kapur is a LinkedIn Top Voice, keynote speaker, and trusted LinkedIn coach and sales trainer. If you want to get better results in 2023 for yourself, your business or have me speak at your event please get in touch.