Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The $10,000 Rice Krispies Treat

That's not a misprint.

It is possible to create a Rice Krispies Treat worth $10,000 to your business -- or more.

In fact, I'll show you a picture of one such incredibly valuable confection. 

Here it is:

The $10,000 Rice Krispies Treat

Now, let me explain ...

Last week, I was in Austin, TX at the brand-new Westin Austin Downtown hotel. My client, Bill Gough (president of BGI Systems) was hosting a meeting for some of his clients.

Bill told me that, frankly, he was leery of holding a high-priced event at a hotel just 3 days after it opened, as was the case at this Westin. But the hotel manager assured him that our stay would be PERFECT.

Well, that turned out to be wrong. Our stay was not perfect.

It was, in fact, BEYOND perfect.

I won't go into details about the quality of the food, the rooftop pool, or the service -- those were all pretty much perfect.

But hotel employees are like baseball umpires. If you do your job perfectly, nobody notices. To stand out, you either have to piss people off or blow them away.

The staff at the Westin Austin Downtown blew us away. And they did it, not with whiz-bang technology or a 9-course meal, but with ... a Rice Krispies treat.

Here's the story: The hotel served Rice Krispies treats at lunch. One of Bill Gough's employees mentioned that the hotel treats were good, but that he missed his wife's, because she bakes them with Fruity Pebbles.

That night, after our meeting, he returned to his room. About 5 minutes later, there was a knock at the door. A bellman delivered what you see pictured above. Someone in the kitchen had created a special Rice Krispies treat covered in Fruit Loops and frosting.

Here's what the note says:

"We hope you are enjoying your stay at the Westin Austin Downtown. We remember you saying that you liked rice crispy treats with Fruity Pebbles, and wanted to give you a sense of home while you were away.

"Although it does not have Fruity Pebbles, we still want you to enjoy this variety. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you during your stay."

I wish I could read the name of whoever wrote that note! Instead, I'll just have to credit the entire staff at the Westin Austin Downtown with being customer service geniuses. And it could only have sprung from a culture that encouraged its employees to delight the customer first and worry about rules later.

(Quick: Imagine the IRS or Social Security Administration doing anything like this. Impossible. Finding delightful service in a bureaucratic culture is like finding roses growing on Uranus.)

Anyway, this incident is worth at least $10,000 to the Westin Austin Downtown.

Think about it.

Ten grand might buy a full page ad in the Austin Daily Herald. But could $10,000 buy 25 raving fans who tell everyone how great you are? No, not without drugs or prostitutes. But that's what this treat did among our group -- we spent 20 minutes talking about it the next day and I haven't shut up since I got home.

And that's not counting the future stays the 25 of us will make at other Westins ... or the seminars my client Bill Gough will hold at other Westins ... or the viral marketing this happy little incident will likely set off.

No. If you add up the potential revenue that will roll into the Westin Austin Downtown and other Westin properties, it's actually far beyond $10,000.

Your Takeaway as a Business Owner: Incredible service that delights your clients and turns them into referral-generating fans need NOT cost a bundle. No expensive technology, big ad budget, or patents are needed.

Delivering incredible service only requires ... attention. Just pay attention to what your clients and prospects are saying. Whether it's on the phone, by email, or in person, WATCH and LISTEN. Look for an opportunity to delight people by doing the unexpected.

Key: Nobody ever booked a hotel room for the Rice Krispies treats. But a Rice Krispies treat that's customized for one customer ... because of an offhand remark ... then delivered to their room with a long, personal note ... well, that's a BIG DEAL, as you have seen.

Cost to the Westin in labor and supplies: About $10.

Value to the Westin in advertising, good will, and future stays: About $10,000. (That's a return on investment of 99,900%.)

You might want to go and do likewise.

Service that surprises and delights your clients is what I call a Marketing Multiplier -- a small action that can deliver big profits.

Marketing Multipliers are simple. They cost little or nothing. And you can implement them today.

If you own a business, there's a box of 11 Marketing Multipliers waiting to be shipped to you. You can try it Free. Click here now.


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