I went to Puerto Rico in November for a business program I’m in and oh my gosh, I had so much fun! I could go on and on about the great time I had with the program but most of it is irrelevant to this blog post.

I had an interesting experience at the resort we stayed at, the Ritz Carlton. I learned a lot about branding and messaging during my stay through the interactions I had with their brand. I want to share my takeaways with you.

Be Warm

Every single staff member that I interacted with gave me a huge smile and a warm greeting. There was something about their greetings that were just so much more warm and genuine than any other place I’ve been to.

Everywhere I turned, whether they were on the clock or not, they were happy to see me. This boosted my mood throughout the stay.

Come From a Place of Genuine Service and Caring

They were so quick to serve me in any way they could and, again, with a huge smile on their faces.

There was one instance when someone I was with asked if they had complimentary sun tan oil (they had complimentary bug spray so she thought maybe they had sun tan oil). Unfortunately, the girl she asked said they didn’t.

A few minutes later, she comes back with a bottle of sun tan oil in her hand and said someone had left it behind and that we could use it.

What an amazing example of going above and beyond. She went out of her way to solve my friend’s problem and found a solution by thinking outside the box.

This is a lesson in serving your client in every way possible so they have a positive experience with your brand and are happy. There are the typical things you can do, like respond to messages as quickly as possible and be kind when you speak to them. But there are other unexpected ways you can go above and beyond to make your followers smile.

One way is to recognize individual people on social media, like a client or a colleague. Not only does this make that person feel special and appreciated, but it also makes others warm and fuzzy inside because they see you care about those who are in your circles.

Another way you can make them smile is by giving them resources when they least expect it.

Whenever I’m chatting with someone and they mention a simple problem they’re having, like “I was trying so hard to change my Facebook page name and I finally gave up”, regardless of whether they’re a client of mine or not, I always do a quick Google search and send them a link to a tutorial.

They always appreciate the help and it only took me a few seconds!

Make It Easy

They did a lot of things to make my stay at the Ritz Carlton very easy for me:

I never had to open the huge front doors because there was always two people holding them open for me.

I didn’t have to pull my bag through the lobby to the front desk because someone grabbed it from the taxi and rolled it in for me.

I never had to lay out my own towel at the pool or beach.

Of course, there are a lot of things they did that many hotels do as well, like bring me an extra pillow when I called the front desk, hold onto my suitcase after I checked out (I was staying at the hotel for a few more hours after checking out), and always kept my room nice and clean.

But it is those acts of service I mentioned earlier that made them exceptional and different.

This is a lesson in making everything easy and pleasant for your followers and clients every step of the way.

How can you make things easy for your followers? One way is to make the common information they need very easily accessible. Make it super easy for them to find your contact information. If there are questions you get all the time, create an FAQ on your website so they can get an answer right away.

Also, don’t make them jump through hoops to complete your call-to-action. The more steps it takes for them to get what you promised them, the more likely they are to click away.

For example, I emailed my list today with a shorter version of this blog post. In this blog post, you can see at the end I’m offering a free download. When I emailed my list, I gave them a direct link to the download.

If I didn’t do that, they would have to go to the blog post to get it. Why should they have to click to go the blog post, click “Download”, enter their name and email and press submit, go to their inbox, wait for it to arrive, then click the link to download?

That is six steps. Way too many. I’m nearly exhausted from just typing all of that out! I’m mostly kidding, by the way!

All I did was I gave them a link to the download. They clicked the link and boom, the PDF started downloading on their computer. One step.

Another thing you can do for your clients is make it easy for them to pay.

I know a lot of entrepreneurs pick payment processors based on the fees. Look at your current payment processor and test it. See what kind of experience your clients have when they go to pay you.

If it’s clunky or confusing or has a lot of unnecessary steps, see if you can make some changes with your current payment process or start looking for a new payment processor.

Be High-Class

There was something else very interesting and unexpected I noticed.

They had an ATM but it was hidden inside a small room! The room had a french door so you could very easily see inside of it and see the ATM was there. The door was always ajar as well, inviting me in.

Do you realize why they did that? ATMs aren’t the sexiest things in the world but they are necessary. So what they did was tuck it away but also made sure it was visible enough for us to notice it and know we can use it.

This is a lesson in being visually high-class. Their resort still looked beautiful in every corner while having “unsexy-but-necessary” items conveniently available.

The biggest way you can have a higher-end and clean image online is by making sure your presence is tidy and nice-looking. Look at your social media graphics. Are they clean and easy to read? Same with your website and email blasts.

My bottom-line is:

  • Be warm and friendly to everyone who meets your business online (and offline as well)
  • Make everything you can easy for them to do
  • Be sure your presence is clean and high-class everywhere online.

P.S. They never referred to their staff as “our staff”. They always referred to them as “Ladies and Gentlemen”. How cool is that?