How Small Touches Can Take a Customer Experience From “Meh” to Memorable!

It wasn’t a fancy five-star hotel. Just an average boutique-type property chosen for convenience for a one-night stay.

I wasn’t expecting much. Just a bed really.

Reviews were all good. Most focused on the customer experience which I really didn’t give much weight to since I would be there for only one night.

I was wrong.

So impressive was the customer experience, that when it came to writing my own review I realized I had relegated a somewhat noisy air conditioner, a less than well-lit shower and a lousy view to minor critiques.

While each of those instances is not really a big deal and truly didn’t affect my stay, they are easily the type of comments that might have collectively resulted in a poor review had I nothing else to note.

Instead they were completely relegated to back of mind by an abundance of thoughtful little touches and a culture of sincere customer service.

Here’s what I remember –

• Staff who were happy in their work! Every staff encounter (seriously… including cleaning staff) was genuinely friendly, welcoming, helpful and attentive – it was easy to feel they actually cared!

• Room ready on arrival even though much earlier than normal check in (this might have been sheer luck but I was still doing the happy dance!)

• A baggage porter who went way out of his way to help and all with humour and a smile,

• A warm welcome from the front desk staff with a fresh glass of juice and a scented, damp washcloth,

• Invitation to have our room scented with choice of fragrance,

• A beautiful glass dispenser of ice water with fresh lemons always full in the lobby (and a thermos of hot water in case someone preferred),

• Free Wi-Fi throughout hotel, free movie DVD’s (current) and PlayStation games available for all guests as well as a well-stocked bookshelf and even board games,

• Exceptionally clean room with convenience of multiple places to easily lay out luggage, loads of towels, iDapt charger and docking station

• Free coffee (and it was good coffee) and bottled water in room,

• Lots of little conveniences in room including an umbrella (luckily didn’t need it),

• Continental breakfast was included and complimentary coffee all morning,

• Free use of beach gear for nearby beach area,

• Front desk staff treated questions and requests for assistance with kindness and great detail (I observed several of them in various circumstances and they were consistently cheerful, patient and helpful),

• Boarding passes happily printed and a genuine thank you on departure.


Customer experience trumps all!

And the little things add up.

What can you do at your next event to make it an exceptional guest experience?

Can you make it memorable in many small ways that collectively add up to a special memory? Are there not-so-great things that are out of your control that you could make people forget because you did something special?

It isn’t always about bigger or showier or more expensive. I’ve stayed in many much more expensive and upscale five-star properties and not been treated half so well or had such a memorable experience.

We in the events business have a tendency to think big. Pause for a minute and think about your guests on a very personal level. What would please them? Help them? Make them more comfortable? What lovely little touch will stick in their memory.

Creating a positive customer experience doesn’t have to cost much.

In fact the best type of guest experience comes from something that doesn’t cost a thing.

Happy, kind and genuine staff leave the best impression of all.




Post by Margaret Johnston,

As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.


EventsWork is the leading job board for event jobs in North America!

Check out the latest jobs here!


Job seekers: Create a Free Account to get job alerts, post your resume and more!

Employers: Post your event job today! Save time and money and reach a qualified audience. is dedicated to event jobs and career development resources for the event industryContact Us. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter,  and Linkedin.