Did you ever notice that after investing a bit more to upgrade a feature or service level for something, it becomes difficult to go back to the prior experience without feeling a sense of disappointment? I remember the first time I purchased a car with a leather interior. It made it hard to imagine going back to fabric seats. Have you ever upgraded to first class on an airline? I never have, but, I’m guessing it would be a similar experience. Once you enjoy that extra leg space and enhanced service from flight attendants, you would miss it every time you had to fly coach. It’s funny how quickly we can get used to “the finer things” and it can be hard to give up life’s luxuries once we have them. Recently, I might have had the most dramatic of these “upgrade” experiences, at of all places, a baseball game.
Time to Play Ball!
Like my friend Beth, I love having a local MLB team here in D.C., and I truly enjoy going to see our Washington Nationals play. I’m happy with any seat in the park really, as long as the weather is decent and I can grab a hot dog and a cold drink. Just being able to take a few hours to relax and enjoy “America’s National Pastime” is a wonderful experience to me. This simple pleasure was disrupted recently when I was invited to attend a game with access to the “Delta Sky360 Club (formerly President’s Club)” right behind home plate. What was this? All you can eat hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts and drinks? And not just standard ballpark fare – they also served amazing specialty food which was delivered right to your seat. The view of the field? Just perfect. I was in baseball heaven!
The “D.C. Elite”
According to the Nationals’ website, the club is described as “an exclusive venue behind home plate that caters to Washington D.C.’s elite”. Apparently, I had now attained “elite status” while going to a baseball game. Unbelievable! How could I ever go back to “regular seats”? It truly was a special experience and I am now feeling a bit spoiled. The next time I go to a game, I will desire this same level of service, high quality food, and the home plate view. It’s amazing how quickly our expectations change. Unfortunately, my bank account will NOT allow this to happen again anytime soon, so it will be “back to the bleachers” for me. I’m getting ready for that feeling of enormous disappointment!
What Level of Service Do You Provide?
All of this made me think – I wonder if our customers would feel the same way if they decided to move their business from us to deal with just a “regular vendor”. Would they notice such a steep drop off in quality or service level that they would be overwhelmed by their sense of disappointment? I hope so. We should strive to provide such a world-class experience for our clients that they feel like they’ve reached “elite status” when working with us. We must remember what it means to be a true “partner” when we collaborate with professionals. If we deliver on this standard, the expectations will be such that the thought of taking business away from our company, even if it might save money, would be very difficult indeed. Let’s strive to deliver on our promises, provide exceptional service levels, and cater to our clients as if they are “Washington, D.C.’s elite”!
Mike Petrusky is an Account Executive for Kayrell Solutions. He has been offering marketing products, services and solutions to clients for over twenty years. You can follow him @MikePetrusky on Twitter.