Small details can make a big difference

The view from our first holiday property.

I’m just back from a lovely relaxing family holiday in Devon and Cornwall where we rented two self catering properties for a week each. On paper both properties offered similar facilities at a similar standard and the slight difference in price could be explained by the location. However the way we felt about both properties was quite different. So what made the difference?

I think the key differentiator was the owner’s attention to detail. In the first property the owner seemed to have thought about what would make a good holiday experience. There was plentiful tourist material about things to do and see in the area including timetables for buses, boats and tides. There were hairdriers with mirrors positioned close to plugs. There were sufficient plates and cutlery to keep going until the dishwasher was nearly full. There was a small supply of cleaning materials to allow us to maintain the cleanliness of the property and equipment. A bottle of wine made us feel most welcome.

The second property, whilst of a reasonable standard, was disappointing in comparison. The equipment and furnishings were cheap and had not all stood the test of time. The ‘fridge lacked enough shelves to organise food storage safely and the oven did not work on all settings so food was scorched. On day one we had to go out and buy basic cleaning materials and we ran out of crockery and cutlery before the dishwasher was anywhere near full. There was virtually no information about the local area. The property felt more like a business than a welcoming holiday home.

Now I know we are not all running holiday rental businesses but the same principles apply. What are your customer’s expectations? When did you last look at your business from your customer’s point of view? What more can you do to give your customers an experience they will want to repeat?

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