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Exceptional Moments Make the Experience Memorable (EMEM): Insights from BARE’s Hospitality Team, Pre-COVID Scenarios

Rounding up the remote team for an annual meeting resulted in twelve of our “out of towners” staying in our nearby large branded hotel. These individuals ranged from Baby Boomers to Generation X’s to Millennials, resulting in guests with a range of expectations.

We wondered: how often do exceptional moments occur to make the experience memorable? 

We polled the team about their experience upon departure, all having stayed across the same time frame with the same associates on staff. There were no occurrences of any situation that was not handled appropriately. Overall, there was a feeling that business was appreciated.

We discovered that 50% of our team reported occurrences outside of the ordinary, all related to the associates going beyond their duties to connect in a personalized way:

Just great service

My coworker left my briefcase at the front desk of the hotel after the dinner since I was not returning right away. When I arrived to pick it up, the hotel associate took my claim check number from the photo provided and quickly went to retrieve my bag.

The associate asked if there was anything additional needed, or if I’d like something from the snack area. When I told her I didn’t really need anything nor had cash at the moment, she added, “It’s okay! Grab something on us. I’m sure it’s been a long day for all of you.” EMEM!

Her offer and acknowledgement of the work day made me feel like she was truly paying attention to her customers and thinking about what she could do to make their stay more pleasant.

Service Recovery

We arrived at the restaurant after dinner out, and my coworker and I ordered dessert. The server reported they were out of the first item we ordered (chocolate pie), so we ordered two brownies. She came back and said they only had one left and no other chocolate desserts left. The last brownie went to my coworker.

I selected an alternate non-chocolate dessert, but commented that I had a chocolate craving. The server added a scoop of chocolate ice cream, free of charge. EMEM!

The server made me feel like our business and satisfaction was her top priority. She went out of her way to make a negative experience a positive.

The simple things matter

When returning to the hotel on early evening, there was an employee in the lobby area. He spoke to my coworker and I as soon as we entered, greeting us with a smile and making ‘small talk’ while we waited on the elevator. My coworker left me at the elevator where I waited.

When it arrived, the employee escorted me to the elevator, asked my floor number, and pushed it for me, wishing me a cheery “good night!” EMEM!

The associate provided a personal interaction where none was really needed, and his friendliness left me with a smile on my face as I went up to my room.

The over and above

I called Room Service to order dinner and since the room didn’t have any water, also asked for two bottles. I wasn’t aware at the time that it would be charged $5 each! 30 minutes later, the associate walked in with a tray and a big smile and set it on the table.

As he handed me the bill, I remarked that I couldn’t believe water bottles were not provided free. He said one bottle was, but yes, it was chargeable beyond the first bottle. From my expression, he realized I wasn’t pleased, and he offered to get me another bottle complementary stating he would return in five minutes.

A few minutes later, not only did he return with four bottles, he also brought me two cans of Pepsi, all complementary. EMEM!

As he prepared to leave he added that during my stay, if I needed anything at all, I should ask for him and he would be at my service.

These exceptional moments that made the experience memorable didn’t cost anything in half the situations. How much value and revenue would be created if 50% of the time your team created EMEM? Are your teams seeking and creating EMEM whenever and wherever possible for your guests?

Linda Amraen, Global Director of Client Services, Hospitality – BARE International

+1 (703) 995 3105 • LAmraen@bareinternational.com

Read more insights from BARE’s Hospitality Team on post-COVID scenarios here!