If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. But if you can say something nice, DO IT! Lisa ryan

It was my mother’s 70th birthday and we drove to Atlanta (twelve hours) to spend it with her. In my “perfect ideal world,” I knew I wanted to spend the day at the spa with my mom. However, due to my conference schedule, I did not have time to book an appointment in advance.

If you’ve ever tried to book a spa appointment for a particular day, you know how difficult it can be, so imagine trying to book TWO spa appointments for the same day. I was on the phone early Saturday, calling the difference spas and telling the receptionist what I wanted. Most of them practically laughed in my face, “Honey, we’re booked until the end of next month,” was the general attitude.

Finally, desperate, he said out loud, “I need a spa and I need one NOW!” The next website that came up was a spa in my mother’s town. Your website wasn’t impressive and I wouldn’t have chosen it if I weren’t desperate. I called the number and Silvia answered the phone.

I said, “Today is my mom’s 70th birthday and I’d like to take her to the spa.” Silvia replied: “We just canceled, we would love to create the perfect day for your mother.” I said, “Well, I would like to go with her, can you make two dates?” She said, “Of course we can.” I really wanted two facials, but due to the technicians they had working that day we would have to have a facial and a massage, no problem, massage for mom, facial for me (my favorite service anyway).

Then Silvia said: “We can even provide both services for each of you.” I said, “Really, can we have BOTH a massage AND a facial?” By that time, Silvia had created such a high expectation for the day that I didn’t even ask the price, I just said, “Sign up.” We get in the car and head to our appointments.

Silvia met us at the door and led us to the “Relaxation Room”. He directed my mother to a chair that already had a birthday balloon attached and a card ready for her, signed by the staff. He kicked off his shoes and put his feet on the couch. Then he asked us what we would like to drink. We both ordered raspberry lemonade which she quickly provided. After delivering our drinks to us, he left and brought my mom a tray with assorted treats: grapes, cheese, crackers, cookies, and chocolate. While offering my mother her tray, she said, “It is my pleasure and honor to serve you.” Then he assembled my tray and handed it to me the same way. Wow!

We didn’t carry our purse or put on or take off our shoes all day. The services exceeded expectations and my mother said it was “the BEST birthday ever”. Mission accomplished.

On the way to the car, my mother asked me, “Did you notice the bathroom?” I exclaimed, “YES!” Every time my mother or I used the bathroom, the bin was empty. It was perfectly clean. The attention to detail was incredible and by taking care of everything Silvia and the rest of the team created a day that was, in a word, perfect.

What does all this have to do with your business?

1. Think about how your phone is answered. Do you treat the “dumb questions” as if they really are ridiculous, or are you looking for a “yes and” solution to make the situation work for you and your potential client? Smiling while answering the phone works. I could hear Silvia smiling through the phone.

2. When you provide a product or service, do you consider it an “honor” to be of service to your customers? Do you convey that in your tone of voice and come to your business from the place of a servant’s heart? When Silvia said for the first time, “It is an honor and a privilege to serve you,” I had no doubt in my mind that she was serious.

3. What details are you missing? Is there anything you can do that is so simple and yet so unexpected that it leaves an indelible impression? Silvia may have taken three seconds to get the paper towels out of the bin between clients, but that little detail stood out above all else. It demonstrated the incredible experience that they were able to create just by paying attention.

Take an inventory of your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions as the day progresses. Your clients don’t need to know what kind of day they are “really” having, all they need to do is experience the heart of a servant and the desire to care for them in the best possible way, including the details.

Have fun,

Lisa

Don’t underestimate the power of your thoughts, feelings and words, EVERYTHING you do leaves an impression, be it positive or negative.

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