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JUN/JUL 2012 The Magazine 3
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Member of:
The Do-It-Yourself Workbook:
fter 10 days inspecting destinations in Colombia for incentive
trips and motivational meetings potential – places with amazing
attractions, beaches with clear waters and exotic
cultures – I flew to Las Vegas, where a SITE board meeting was taking
The comparison between both destinations confirmed to me that,
even though natural attractions are of great importance in starting the
hard job of positioning an incentive destination, it’s the service that
ultimately makes the difference. And that requires a management team
that can train employees and empower them to make decisions that
enable client-orientated service.
The clearest example was my recent experience in Las Vegas.
The SITE board meeting was held at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, a
luxury suite property within Mandalay Bay itself.
An Exceptional Experience
THEhotel is characterized by its VIP service, amenities and cuisine.
My exceptional service experience started at the Las Vegas Airport,
where a valet picked me up and took me to the hotel in a limousine.
Once I arrived, I was ushered to a private room for registration that
was entirely separate from the main check-in counter. Then, when I got
to my suite on the seventeenth floor, I found a chocolate, sweets and
more delicious creations that were prepared as a welcome gift. All that
was topped with a little Argentinean flag made of chocolate too.
The surprises didn’t stop over the next two nights that we stayed
at THEhotel: In our rooms we found a book of photos of Las Vegas
and Nevada, a Lion King teddy from Disney (the musical is one of
the main attractions at the Luxor Hotel, a sister property with the
Mandalay Bay), and a CD with of the original music from the Broadway
But the experience that probably impacted me the most was
the hotel’s gastronomic services. Prior to our board meeting, we
were presented with a great breakfast decorated with flowers and
comprised of so many exquisite things that we couldn’t fully taste
them all. The same thing happened during the coffee break, where all
the traditional offerings were joined by a cart with numerous flavors of
ice cream and cones – just to taste a little dessert before lunch.
I decided to be cautious and preserve my appetite for lunch…
it didn’t disappoint. We shared a table with the hotel’s senior
management, and the head chefs presented themselves to describe
the various creations they had prepared in our honor. Perhaps the
most impressive was a chocolate and strawberry mousse dessert
with an amazing giant colorful butterfly suspended over the plate by a
structure made entirely of the finest chocolate.
A Different Sensation
For my third night in Vegas, I made the decision to experience a
different, larger hotel, the Luxor, in order to inspect and consider
alternative venues for the different events I handle with my company,
AV Business & Communication.
The Luxor is a super massive hotel with more than 4,000 rooms!
I got to the customer service counter at 10:15 am. It was evident that
I was too early for check-in, but I presented myself anyway and asked
about the availability of my room.
The employee at front desk told me that check-in was after 3 pm,
and the only thing she could suggest was to leave my luggage with the
bellman until then.
Not in a mood to discuss things further, given the desk clerk’s
firm directive, I left bowed, dragging my luggage to the bellman’s
counter. But on the way I passed another counter where another
person was attending to customers, so I decided to give it one last
try. This lady, unlike the previous one, started by asking my name,
checked her computer and immediately told me: “Your room is
ready, you can occupy it now.” In less than three minutes we did all
the paperwork, she handed me the electronic keys, and I was soon
relaxing in my Luxor suite.
Bottom line: technology, hardware, software and other modern
marvels will never beat the exceptional sensation of being treated like
a VIP. The right attitude and a smile can make a huge difference.
Something to consider when planning and implementing your
next service initiative!
Alejandro Verzoub is President of AV Business & Communication, a
full-service incentive & marketing company in Argentina. He is member
of SITE’s International Board of Directors and was Latin America and
Caribbean Chair for the 2009-2011 period. He was appointed VP of
Finance in 2010 and is President of Siteglobal for 2012.
Here’s What It Takes to Make a Difference
By Alejandro Verzoub, President of SITEglobal 2012