Improve Customer Experience at No Extra Charge!

The extra mile doesn’t have to cost an extra dollar for your customer or your company. But going the extra mile can create priceless memories for your customers, goodwill for your company and a fountain of good feelings for you. When you improve customer experience everyone wins.

At the historic Raffles Hotel in Singapore, each staff member works to delight patrons with many “memorable experiences.” That phrase is a key element of the mission statement. (It was my privilege to help the Raffles team create it.)

Tourists from around the world come to stay, dine, shop, see – and be seen – at Raffles. The hotel takes efforts to improve customer experience very seriously.

Walking the property with cameras in hand, they take photographs they will cherish forever: posing with the stylish doorman, standing in the magnificent lobby, holding hands by the elegant fountain or in the lushly landscaped gardens.

Staff members carefully watch for tourists taking pictures of each other. When they see this “souvenir photography” in progress, they approach with an offer, a smile and a chance to improve customer experience. Reaching for the tourist’s camera while gesturing toward the attractive background, the staff ask simply, “May I? 24 hour air conditioning service

Tourists understand right away, hand their cameras to the staff and then pose smiling together with family and friends.


A memory is captured. A customer is delighted (and will be delighted again when viewing the pictures back home). Raffles creates goodwill and memories to last a lifetime. What do staff members get? The smiles are their reward and the chance to improve customer experience.

The doorman’s uniform, impeccable lobby, historic fountain and verdant gardens cost a lot of money to maintain. But the memorable moment of service?

It comes at no extra charge and will improve customer experience.

At One&Only Kanuhura Resort in the Maldives, housekeeping staff watch for young guests traveling with their favorite teddy bears or other stuffed animals.

On the first night, the child’s teddy bear is placed high up on the pillows. A chocolate is tucked in its arms to improve customer experience.

On the second night, the precious toy is surrounded with beautiful flower blossoms on the table.

On the third night, the beloved bear will be found in an open dresser drawer, holding incense tied with a ribbon.

On the fourth night, the child’s cherished friend is found on top of the television, remote control securely in its hands.

On the fifth night, the soft companion is waiting in the bathtub with its arms around a fresh bar of soap.

Each day another playful gesture to improve customer experience. It’s a wonderful surprise for the children. A pleasure for the parents, too.

One&Only Kanuhura works hard to create “pleasure beyond your dreams.” That’s part of the mission statement. (I was honored to help the Kanuhura team create it.)

The resort itself is a paradise of elegant rooms, romantic restaurants and spectacular spas. These features cost plenty of money to build and maintain. But the memorable moments of service? They come at no extra charge and do improve customer experience.

Key Learning Points

Going the extra mile can make all the difference between an entirely forgettable interaction and a great service experience. Those extra steps needn’t cost a penny. But the rewards can be worth a fortune and will improve customer experience.

Action Steps

Gather your team for an intensive brainstorming session. Create a long list of things you can do – at no extra cost – to show customers your creativity, care and appreciation. Implement one new idea each month, each week or each day for the rest of the year. It will be the most rewarding year of your life, and the most enjoyable for your customers.