When it comes to business, customer experience is the “last great differentiator” because price and product can be imitated. With the proliferation of social media and customer reviews, businesses are under constant scrutiny needing to consistently deliver high standards of customer service.
The customer is not only looking for an exceptional experience from the first touchpoint with the brand, they also want a personalised experience – something that feels like it was created for them. I’m not alone in my desire for a unique, personalised engagement with my world – Sabre’s “Consumer Mega-Trends Impacting Hospitality in 2016” concurs.
Technology is assisting with identifying a targets likes, dislikes, personal preferences and the ability to segment their customers to offer relevant experiences for the consumer.
The Ultimate Birthday Wish
I wanted to have an unforgettable experience with my wife to celebrate her birthday. I chose Nanuku Auberge as she’s a culinary enthusiast, a real “foodie”, and she wanted to have a gastronomic weekend brimming with fresh, authentic flavours we had heard so much about. Upon booking our stay I intimated to the Reservations Supervisor that it was a birthday celebration weekend.
As the flattering title of this article suggests –they knocked it out of the park. The entire weekend was an example of the highest standards of personalisation in action.
Let me walk you through our experience…
The Grand Arrival
As we pulled up to the entrance we were welcomed by a special Fijian ceremony and each served fresh, young coconuts. It was a great start to our weekend. Of course in true digital fashion, the Nanuku team ensured that we had a team photo taken knowing very well these crafty photos would soon be posted on social media.
The Three Pillars of our Perfect Weekend
As I reflect on our weekend, there were three key elements that constituted a perfect experience
- World-class cuisine
These three pillars were the foundation of their success.
We saw personalisation in action every step of our stay. It wasn’t just a buzzword for Nanuku, it was an integrated concept that defined the way their passionate employees engaged with us.
According to Customer Service expert, Shep Hyken, businesses that can personalise their experiences will win over customers. We were totally won over.
When we arrived at our suite we discovered that our bed had been festooned with celebration
And our private pool held an additional subterranean message – impressive!
Upon booking, I had requested a specific birthday cake for my wife. The glorious chocolate fondant cake was delivered in style by the Nanuku team singing ‘Happy Birthday’.
Heck, it was hard to fathom if they knew how to utter “no”
Can we customise this dish?
Can I also order this side?
Can we be picked up from our room in 5 minutes?
Yes, Yes and Yes (punctual)
No ‘Fiji Time’ For Nanuku
The service was top of the line – quick, efficient and friendly. You’ve probably heard of the term “Fiji Time”, meaning nothing happens in a hurry, so people shouldn’t feel rushed and savour the moment.
Fortunately, the infamous ‘Fiji Time’ phrase was never mentioned at Nanuku, not once! The team was warm, attentive and intuitive with their service – which drives their motto of making their guests feel like they are ‘home’. We were planning to check out a little earlier than usual but they convinced us to not only leave a little later but also enjoy a sumptuous lunch before we left.
In truth, we were having such a great time we didn’t want to leave at all!
Taste of Fiji
One of the factors that drew us to Nanuku Auberge was the culinary proposition.
I can honestly say their cuisine promise was fulfilled.
From the chef’s daily pastry basket, which included a selection of house-made toast with signature jams to inventively crafted dinners, which are inspired by the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients… we were in taste bud ecstasy. Everything is fresh, from the garden produce to the freshly caught seafood. Nanuku put together a brilliant fusion of international and Fijian dishes.
When it came to customising our food there was no problem and it was done with joy, expertise and efficiency. One of the bartenders, who met us during the day, wanted to create a few birthday shots for my wife before our meal that evening. True to her word, she found us before dinner and showcased her mixology skill set.
There were also the little touches like homemade cookies in our room. There was even a popcorn machine if you wanted to chill out and enjoy the wide selection of movies (yes, they have IPTV – so we felt very much at home!).
A Lasting Impression
Just when we thought we would check out quietly, the team had one more surprise up their sleeve – they gathered around to serenade us with “Isa Lei”, a traditional Fijian farewell song which capped off a remarkable weekend and one which made us feel as if we were leaving ‘home’.
The communication with us was always authentic. Richard Branson calls this an “eye level” or “peer to peer” style of personalised customer service that is unscripted. Our customer experience was one of luxury, attention to detail and personalised engagement. It’s a haven where Fijian culture was beautifully showcased in an environment of contemporary luxury fused with traditional Fijian culture and design.
Why should businesses care about customer experience?
Because “remarkable experiences” like ours cause people to talk about their brand to their friends and family (i.e. word-of-mouth marketing), which helps to build brand loyalty.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you operate in, there is always a chance to personalise the customer experience.