This week’s post from Jill makes me think of an experience that I had last year. This doesn’t involve the salon, but it did make me take an in-depth look at how I approach my first-time guests. It was a sunrise bike tour down Mount Haleakala I took with my husband for our 10th anniversary. We had decided to take the tour the morning after we arrived in Maui — due to the time difference, it wouldn’t be as hard to get up at 2 a.m. to go to the bike company to meet the staff and get fitted for bikes and gear.
When we arrived at about 2:30 a.m., there were two men working; one was checking us in and having us sign waivers while the other was getting the helmets and rain gear fitted for everyone. As we waited, I was watching the difference in how these two men were interacting with everyone. It was very early and we were all first timers to this company. The man checking us in was slightly sarcastic and kind of abrasive and the man getting the gear (Frank) clearly cared that he made the process as smooth as possible for everyone.
After we got fitted for gear, we headed outside to be fitted to the bikes. Once again I was struck by how the first man was just not as friendly as Frank was. That was when I decided when it was time to load onto the bus to drive to the top of Haleakala, I was getting on Frank’s.
Once we started driving Frank started telling us all about the area. He told us about the little fruit and flower stand on the side of the road that a local man owned and the café that had the best macadamia nut pancakes on the island, as well as giving us directions on how to bike back down the volcano.
Once we entered the state park at the summit of the volcano, he kept track of his group and came and took photos of us just as the sun crested the horizon. Once the sun rose he gathered us back at the bus and took us to another area of the park that gave an amazing view of the cinder cones in the center of the crater. He was full of information about the park, and told us about the local birds and flora. He really didn’t have to go this in-depth for a tour that was only guided until we got on the bikes (the rest of the ride was self-guided).
There were several places where he had us stand to take photos and even when we were on the bikes and he was ready to let us go, he took the time to take a picture of us right before take-off. We even stopped and had breakfast at the café that he told us about, and the pancakes … too die for. I would say that at least half of my enjoyment of the whole experience was courtesy of Frank. If I ever decide to take another tour down Haleakala you can bet that I am going to look him up.
I learned a great deal from Frank that day about going above and beyond to make a great impression and to give more than is expected to make a stellar experience. I have tried to put those things into practice in my salon daily.