The Bentley and The Butler – Part Two

The Bentley and The Butler – Part Two

We’ve talked about The Bentley and The Butler before in the Tuesday Tidbits. In case you missed part one or if you need a refresher, you can find it HERE. Here’s part two.

Alfred was always there when Bruce needed something. Even in the depths of the Batcave, Alfred always seemed just to step out from the shadows ready to serve. What if you could have your own Alfred?

Cruise lines, in particular, have embraced the concept of the butler (literally). Dozens of major cruise lines offer guests their very own private butler service. Usually reserved for passengers in suites, but often sold as an upgraded service, and sometimes as a surprise perk.

While the other guests are battling through the buffet lines…imagine for a moment, kicking your feet up, and your very own butler arriving at your suite with a bottle of champagne. He opens your patio doors allowing the Caribbean breezes to rush in. As the boat sets sail–all of your stresses just float away.

The butler becomes the guest’s concierge who knows how to get things done even for the most discerning clients. He handles the booking of day trips, reserves the best seats for ship’s shows and makes dinner reservations; fine-tunes the housekeeping services specific to the customer’s liking, all while answering the guests’ every question, concern, or request.

In essence, the butler does all the hard work, raises the level of luxury a notch and plays the perfect host, freeing those lucky passengers to enjoy a cruise to its fullest. Surely it must be expensive for a ship to offer such a service?

There’s no way most companies could offer such an extreme, lavish perk, right?

Surely not your company. Well, let’s break down how it works.

For each massive ship, the cruise line would likely have a small team of butlers, each of which would handle a small block of rooms and a certain number of guests. At first, the experience might seem a bit incongruent with the expectations of the cruise. For many of us, the thought of cruises is not always one of luxury. We think of busy ships, and cramped rooms jammed together. We regularly turn on the evening news to see another ship stricken with ill passengers. We’ve all heard horror stories.

The butler, however, becomes a memorable part of the experience. But how can a cruise ship afford to provide such remarkable service?

Let’s imagine for a moment the butler is paid $80,000 a year from the organization. He’s required to do twenty-five cruises per year, and for each cruise, he’s providing his services to twelve rooms. For a little more than $250 per room, the cruise line has offered a fantastic perk with a tiny price tag.

Now ask yourself. Is the real purpose here to increase profits and generate more revenue?

Partially.

But what’s inadvertently happening is that for almost no cost at all the cruise is implanting an indelible memory into the customer’s mind.

On a popular cruise website, one guest shares the following story:

“The best I ever had was “Papa” on Crystal Serenity. Papa never felt intrusive to us. He suggested dinner to us in our stateroom on a night when he knew he could provide us with a table for the verandah. He wheeled in the table and served every dish piping hot. When we later asked for some caviar to entertain one of the guest speakers in our stateroom Papa brought us caviar, champagne, brie, fresh fruit and ended it with red wine and chocolate covered strawberries. Never have I been more spoiled. I will never forget that experience on Crystal.”

Listen to that customer. She will never forget Papa.

The key point is that the cost of the butler is irrelevant.

The butler is the thing people remember.

The butler is the thing people go home and talk about. The butler fuels powerful word-of-mouth after the initial sale.

Would your company be willing to spend $250 on an experience never to be forgotten by your customers? An experience that people can’t stop talking about – ever? You would be foolish not to.

What if a company could spend considerably less, and create an experience with equal impact?

And before you say, “but my business is different,” consider this. I’ve seen clients in unique industries from B2C companies, to B2B firms like heavy equipment manufacturers, take this concept and use it to create a compelling, unforgettable experience for their clients.

Your Challenge For This Week: Try to come up with a few unique ideas for your Butler experience.

What could you add to the customer experience that has this level of impact–making your experience practically unforgettable?

For retail, think about the first time someone comes into a store or makes their first purchase.

For e-commerce, think about the unboxing experience.

For B2B manufacturers, distributors, etc. think about when you deliver the product, or when a client spends a certain amount with your company. I remember one manufacturing client that sold a very expensive piece of machinery. Each machine received a plaque commemorating the purchase and recognized the company who bought it. The client was always THRILLED, surprised, and they always told others about it.

If you’re having trouble, reach out, and I’ll brainstorm a few ideas with you.