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Maximize Your Opportunities To Live Great Customer Experiences

30th August 2017

This article was written by Joe Sejean, CEO and Founder of Activate Experience.

I can be horribly snappy at times.

I realized it comes when I am tired and when money is involved – if I pay a high price for something and things go a bit wrong, I can turn nasty. 

The weird thing is that I often end up getting what I want but… it doesn’t taste the same.

Some bitterness is linked to the experience and I feel, deep down, underlying regrets for having been discourteous to someone.

I decided to change that.

You might know now that I am a food lover (part 1 and part 2). Beyond food, I invest my time and money in experiences. Objects come second. 

I am currently in Seychelles. Here is the sunset we saw yesterday (#nofilter). 

The dream holiday with Laure, my wife. Without the kids. 

We arrived at the Hilton Northolme at 8am after a sleepless night flying from Dubai - where we live.

Weather was humid, the road to arrive at the hotel was bumpy.

Of course, at this time of the day, the room was not ready.

We went for breakfast and at 10.30am, I felt impatience growing in me.

I was tired. And there was money involved. Red Alert.

Instead of landing into my comfort zone and let my snappy-self have a good time, I chose to approach the situation differently and be nice (after a deeeeeeep breath).

The rest of the stay was an endless suite of experiences ranging from great to outstanding, incredible, awesome and more.

To name a few: late check-out arranged by the Concierge without us asking. "Just to make sure your wife can rest until the last moment" (Laure is pregnant \o/). Small attentions like a fruit platter with a small note to ensure we could enjoy the terrace of the room with good flavors; taxis reserved in anticipation of our plans, bottles of water and towels arranged for our excursions and placed at the back seat of the taxi; friendly people everywhere, ensuring Laure and the baby were fine. 

Those are random examples of human experiences that made this paradise-hotel a real paradise for use.

How come so many good experiences happened to us during our stay?

A lot of factors come into play, that is for sure. And among them, here are the 2 things I understood on how to live great experiences more often.

1- Learn What Your Red Alert Is 

I told you, mine is when I am tired and money is involved.

Check what is yours and don’t hesitate to spend a lot of energy to acknowledge it and keep it seated and still.

In other words, make your Red Alert feel Who's the Boss.

It will cost you. A lot maybe. And you will fail at times for sure (I still do).

But the payback is bigger.

So far, every time I managed to keep my Red Alert still, amazing experiences happened, as if people invisibly appreciated the effort I was doing. 

2- Great Customer Experiences Start Within You

Be the first to be nice. Don’t expect people to install niceness in the relationship.

In my case, I used to consider that because I paid money, people needed to be nice first.

I am not proud of that. I was not doing it consciously but the consequences were merciless: this approach has altered many experiences in my life and got me more disappointed and frustrated than happy and relaxed.

When I chose to do things differently, I started to accumulate good experiences, meet great people, enjoy life and things in a different way.

In Seychelles, things came together allowing me to see I had moved into a different pattern: give a chance to great experiences to happen - by being the first to be nice - rather than expecting them to occur. 

Great experiences start within you. 

I will always have my Red Alerts. They travel with me. This is a part of who I am and it won’t change.

What can change is my choice to detect them, show them I am in charge. Most importantly, what can change is my choice to be the first to start great experiences. 

And it works amazingly well.

NOTE: In gratitude, I would like to name the people who made our stay in Seychelles an amazing human experience.

From Hilton Northolme: James, the Concierge, for anticipating things on a constant basis, for caring so much about small things. Benny from IT, for arranging a great music set up inside the room only because he understood we were music addicts. Nadia from the breakfast team, for talking to us like we were family everyday. Vanessa the cook, for the pancakes and basically every recipe that is sinfully good. Dilshan, Marvel, Antoine, Jim, Georgette, Denise, Samatha, and all the other people like you for your generosity during our stay. You know what Customer Experience is all about. 

From the Taxis: Selby, for explaining to us the history of your country from the airport to the hotel. Charlie, for the tour of the island and your knowledge of nature. Nelson, for the Takamaka distillery visit that transformed into a full excursion day with the discovery of Batista restaurant and their amazing octopus curry (not to mention the paradise beach there). Maxime, for bringing us back from the hospital (pregnancy has some complications sometimes :\) at a slow pace to ensure Laure was fine. Antoine for rushing to the pharmacy to get the medicine we needed.

If you go to the Seychelles, visit the Takamaka Rhum distillery and meet Francis, the GM. An adventurer, a seeker, an enjoyer. Go to Batista, a local low-key restaurant and try the octopus curry cooked by Fernando from Sri-Lanka.

Live experiences, meet people.