Arment Dietrich

The Value of a Raving Fan

By: Arment Dietrich | August 8, 2012 | 
36

Today’s guest post is written by Lisa Gerber.

Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend up in British Columbia for a mountain biking trip.

If you’ve never been to Southeastern, British Columbia, please add it to your list. I think it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

We had reserved a studio in The Sutton Place Hotel at the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

After a long day of travel, we arrived that Friday evening to learn the studio we had booked was oversold. So they double-upgraded to a top-floor, corner, two-bedroom suite.

Double-upgraded.

The hotel had a choice when we arrived: They could have transferred us down the street with an affiliate at a comparable price, apologize for the inconvenience, and protect their bottom line. Or they could have double-upgraded us.

A funny thing happened at that moment at check-in. Everything suddenly became AMAZING. It was like check-in LSD.

We walked to the elevators commenting on what great service we just had at the front desk (well, duh) and how charming the guy was. The lobby became even more stunning than it was when we had arrived. The elevator doors opened right away. Wow, the elevator is so NICE. Look at these hallways! And we opened the door to our place, and we were high-fiving.

They sacrificed a bit of profit, and in return, got a pair of raving fans. We couldn’t book our ski trip for this winter fast enough. Is there a realtor available? We think we need a place here for retirement.

I’ve told about 10 friends locally, plus you.

It made me think about good business on the (long) drive home. What is the value of a raving fan, a loyal customer, a long-term employee? When we make decisions that reflect on the bottom line, are we taking all the proper metrics into consideration?

Maximizing revenue and keeping costs down is the name of the game in business school but don’t forget the value of praises sung. Calculate that value and ask yourself every day, “Did I have the opportunity to create another fan?”

I’m not saying we can all afford to double-upgrade our customers. But we can’t afford to not spend every single day wondering what we can do to blow the minds of our customers. What is the real cost when you sacrifice a few hundred dollars here and there for someone who just became passionate about your brand?

We could have been transferred down the road and it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. We get it; things happen. It’s not like they would have left us out on the street. Would we come back? Maybe, maybe not. Would we remember? No, we’d soon forget all about it.

Will we remember this place? Yes.

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