When I first went to Butlins with the family and some friends in the Summer of 2018, it was the first time I had visited the site. I used to love British holidays and spent many a time when I was young visiting the East Coast, Bridlington to be specific: I love the British seaside but in a world of cheap flights, package holidays and guaranteed sunshine, the experience, expectation and value of the domestic holiday has somehow lost its appeal somehow.
So how can British holiday destinations attract the local market to choose staying in Britain rather than hopping on a plane and visiting the guaranteed sunshine of the Costa Del Sol?
In my opinion, it comes down to one thing; customer experience.
What can you learn from this article?
I hope you take from this article the huge potential that each of us holds by genuinely loving what we do and wanting to share that in a way the delights our customers through exceptional service and delivery.
You must love what you do to truly stand out because in that extra mile comes tremendous benefit.
The real beauty though is in the opportunity for us to do this for little to no financial investment! You can massively benefit your business by just being you. Local and small business often serve local people and small business, who want to relate to people just like them. How can you make that experience personal? How can you add the real wow factor?
People don’t buy from people. People buy from people like themselves.
But first, back to my trip to Butlin’s….
What did I expect from my trip to Butlin’s?
My expectations in the Summer of 2018 were mixed: We were going away as a family with a group of friends who also have young kids, it’s a great fit that would have been a good weekend wherever we were.
But my point here is, what did I expect of Butlins?? I had never been before. In my mind, I was expecting dated rides, expensive food and drink served up in a plain and minimal café, whilst we lived and slept in pokey old chalets somewhere on a dark old campsite.
It’s fair to say my expectation whilst travelling to Skegness wasn’t one of the highest order!
Why was I surprised?
Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight. That’s the mission statement of Butlins and they stand by it so much that they have a 7 foot round mural laid in stone on the main footway across the site.
I found this presentation on Slideshare when I was researching a little more about the Butlin’s mission as this promise really resonated with me; Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight.
What a bold statement and a statement to stand by, it must trickle down across the business and really make those who work there proud to stand by the brand.
As we wandered the walkways within the campsite I wanted to test the claim across the various outlets available to holiday goers. We visited the shops, bars, bumped in to the cleaners, the maintenance team and of course the famous Redcoats.
I was delighted by the quality on show in terms of service. To reference my article about finding a true USP and operating in the WOW phase, Butlins were hammering it.
Was it necessary they gave us accommodation and the food provision we paid for? Yes. Was it expected that the accommodation be clean and their be some entertainment on show for us to enjoy? Yes.
None of this is particularly special nor will it lead to their being a gathering army of fanatical customers who can’t wait to rush back and tell all their friends, or indeed book again.
But what Butlin’s does well, and obviously has worked very hard to do, is wow the customer. Truly, and genuinely mean what they are doing.
By focusing on the customer experience – more than customer service – Butlin’s are able to wow their customer base.
The Sales Innovation Expo – a lesson in customer experience for business.
I was at the Sales Innovation Expo in London recently and the one standout phrase across all the talks and seminars I attended and meetings I had, was a comment from a banking sector business who’s mantra moving forward is to provide an unexpected delight.
The whole talk was about how banks are focusing on customer experience, or CX.
Your sales will benefit from delivering brilliant customer service across your business process. Think about your prospect and current customer base – what is their current experience of you?
How can you make this more personal yet automated?! What a contradiction in terms this is. As people’s desire for personal attention grows, the reliance on automation to deliver this is growing!
From banking to Butlin’s, customer experience, customer delight, unexpected delight and the wow factor is changing the game. It isn’t enough anymore to simply rely on a well delivered product, you must go beyond the expected, above the necessary and find your wow factor.
Because if you do not, how many sales are you leaving behind?
Future booking and referral
Refer, review, recycle. My bottom of funnel goal for all business. The transactional side of the sale is not the end of the relationship. It is the end of the beginning. What needs to happen now through careful planning and strategic vision is your way to really capture the essence of all you have just delivered.
As you are (of course!) aiming to delight your customers, you need to now capture that delight and package it up in a way that will benefit your business. I phrase this as the 3 R’s; refer, review or recycle.
Can you ask your customer base to refer you to others? Think about my time in Butlin’s. Am I likely to recommend them to others because the rooms were clean? Not really. But I am way more likely to recommend a visit based on the high 5’s from the red coats, the remembering of names from the restaurant host, the dedication of the entertainers to make sure my kids are smiling at the end of the show. That’s what I remember, and it’s this I will share.
How can Butlin’s recycle us as customers? How do they push us back to the top of the marketing funnel to start the cycle again? They offer us, before we leave, a ‘price match guarantee’ only available if we book before we leave. This is a brilliant piece of marketing that Butlin’s use to fill their capacity up to a year ahead of schedule.
From a marketing perspective, the efficiencies, the savings on finding new customers by offering us a small loyalty reward by booking before we leave, is excellent!
Needless to say Mrs T has us all booked in for a visit again in 2020 – but you know what, I can’t wait!