Meeting Planners are a well-traveled group; and the well-traveled tend to have comfort factors built into their travel plans. Some people bring along their own pillow or blanket, some pack special coffee or tea, etc. Personally, I tend to show up at my hotel room with a fan – I am not kidding, I like to sleep with a fan! And before you get any ideas, the kind of fan I bring along is of the plug in and moves air around variety, not one of my many people fans. 🙂
The comfort factor for a legal psychologist from the Netherlands, Annelis Vredevelt, is Boris. When Annelis became an active member of the Dutch Animal Protection Society, she received Boris; a very cute stuffed animal that she could easily pack up and bring along; he is the bit of home she brings along on her travels.
But while traveling in British Columbia, Boris went missing. Annelis shared that she “turned her room upside down” and Boris was not to be found. The hotel staff joined in on the search, but it seemed that Boris was lost forever.
(Don’t worry! We are getting to the happy ending).
Two weeks later, Annelis received a package from the hotel. In it she found Boris (yay!), a letter and several pictures. In the letter, the Housekeeping Manager apologized for their delay in finding Boris, and assured her that the staff made sure he had a fine time celebrating Canada Day with them. He also sent along several pictures to chronicle the day; pictures showed staff members holding Boris, Boris enjoying a parade and him lounging about in a comfy sitting area.
I found this to be such a wonderful example of over-the-top customer service! The hotel property created a positive and memorable impression, so much so that the story was picked up and shared by Buzzfeed.
Without a doubt, great customer service is part of meeting planner DNA. But every once in a while, don’t forget to add fun into the equation. You’ll get back a lot in return! You will get clients that will never forget you and that become your biggest promoters.
Please tell me what your “Boris” is and have a happy day to you, meeting planners!