“It will take me about 15 minutes and it will cost you $275.”

Recently, I had a plumber come fix a leaky pipe. He charged me over $1,000. While he was there, I asked him if he would install a new water supply line to a toilet. He wanted to add $275 to his bill. It took my son less than 15-minutes to do the same task.

Here’s another story. Also recently, I took my car into get new brake pads. Later that day, I noticed some noise coming from the brakes. I returned to the service center and the repair shop installed a second set of brake pads and new rotors (which weren’t initially replaced). The repair shop explained, “Apparently, we didn’t do a very good job the first time. The new brake pads and rotors are on us.”

One service provider received a glowing recommendation and a five-star Google review. I’ll never use the other provider again.

Unfortunately, it’s rare to find exceptional service today. Average seems to be the norm and going above and beyond is exceptionally rare.

Many years ago, I was hired by a luxury resort property to help them obtain the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award. Before we ever started work at the resort, I spent some time bench marking other exceptional hotels and resorts to learn what they did and how they bested other properties. For the first few months I worked there, I met with top leaders from a variety of departments to brainstorm new ideas and to get their input on innovative ways to provide exceptional service to resort guests. To kick off our campaign, I brought in a leader from one of the top resorts in the country to give a presentation on how they had achieved award-winning status and guest satisfaction. As a management and leadership team, we identified our shortfalls and put together problem-solving teams who met weekly to determine how to create exceptional service procedures to impress our guests. Those teams continually asked questions like:

– How can we anticipate the needs before they are expressed?

– What can we do to go above and beyond in service delivery?

– When we do mess up, how can we empower employees to make it more than right?

– How do we celebrate our team members who provide exceptional service?

– How do we keep track of guest preferences so we can demonstrate highly tailored service?

By the way, we got the Five Diamond Award.

Being exceptional is exceptionally rare today. But organizations that are proactive and intentional can lead the way and command a greater market share by keeping their clients happy.

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