Well it’s that time of year again. I’m planning my annual holiday. This year I’m trying to save money so I’m staying close to home, perhaps with a trip up the coast to beautiful Coral Bay and Exmouth. In my extensive internet searches for somewhere to stay, I stumbled across yet another excellent example of customer service (there must be something about me and travelling).
Yesterday at about 5:00pm (Sunday of a long weekend) I emailed an enquiry through to an accommodation provider in Exmouth, asking about their booking periods, and their deposit requirements. To my absolute surprise, my mobile phone rang at about 8:00pm, and on the line was a pleasant female voice from the same accommodation provider, gladly answering all of my queries in person, as well as offering her name and contact details should I need any further assistance. I should put this into context by saying that I have, over the last week, emailed about 8 different accommodation outlets from different locations. Of these 8 or so enquiries, only 2 have emailed me in return (none had rung) and not one had replied any sooner than 24 hours after my email to them.
The particular accommodation provider who so efficiently answered my queries also had a very impressive website. Again, out of the countless websites I visited, this was the only website who gave me the complete picture, literally. The website included several different maps (including one of the town centre); pictures of the interior and exterior of all of their chalets (my preferred method of accommodation); information on local attractions, tours and activities; an on-line booking request system; and more, all in an easily navigable layout which made perfect sense.
What impressed me the most about the website was the incorporation of interactive side banners which, at first glance, looked like an advertisement, but on closer inspection, were actually promoting other services the park offered. For example, one of these ‘ads’ was to promote the fact that the park is dog-friendly, and another was to promote their in-house Italian restaurant which serves home-made wood fired pizzas. Each time you visited a different page on the site, this ‘ad’ changed to promote a different element or benefit of the park. I think this concept was excellent – a great way to promote the additional benefits of your company without users having to search for it, in a highly dynamic and interactive manner.
So, with such efficient customer service, pleasant personnel, a great website, and the courtesy to pick up the phone in today’s email-society, I have definitely made up my mind to spend my money at this particular park, who, I might say, is definitely not the cheapest I had found. All it took was a phone call (worth a couple of dollars) to secure my business (worth nearly a thousand dollars).