What Las Vegas Taught me About Business
This past week, Caleb and I jumped on a plane headed to Las Vegas. It was a surprise for Caleb's birthday in January that he got to cash out in April. Having been to Vegas before in college, I remember the lights, glitz and glam. I remember people watching and I remember being pretty ready to go home after a couple of days.
This time was a little different. Not only did Caleb and I really need a vacation, just the two of us, but I was in awe of the overall experience of it all a lot more than last time. It could be that we stayed in the beautiful Venetian hotel, but the customer experience, the details, and the "branding" for each of the hotels was much more noticeable, and very impressive.
Now I know that Vegas isn't for everyone, but if you're a designer, especially an interior designer, you would have as much entertainment as you needed just walking through each of the hotels! So today, I want to talk about the three things that Las Vegas taught me about design. These are three things that each and every business owner can take and implement into their business!
1. Create the best experience for your customers
Vegas is quite something. You can literally do anything that money can legally buy. You can pay to drive a lamborghini around town for an hour, or if that's not enough thrill, you can pay to drive a tank and crush old cars. Or if that's not enough, you can bungee jump off the stratosphere. Crazy, right?!
The customer service in most of the hotels was off the charts. You are treated so well, especially at the hotel you stay in. If you need something, someone will make sure you get it. The hotel employees were over-the-top helpful and kind and there was never a short of available employees to answer your question or point you in the right direction.
At the Venetian, each room is a suite, meaning you have a huge hotel room equipped with a bedroom and living area with giant windows, three tv's, a luxurious bathroom and the best hotel robes! But my favorite part was a remote control that closed and opened both the blinds and window curtains at the click of a button.
Not to mention the aesthetics and decoration. Each hotel had a different theme and everything, I mean EVERYTHING fit into that theme.
Everything in Vegas is meant to wow you! There were elaborate carvings, sculptures, water features and tile work. Things that you just don't see anywhere but in Las Vegas. There were twenty foot sculptures completely created out of flowers that danced to songs and fluttered their wings. Quite impressive.
So taking this back to reality, each of us need to think about our client experience from the initial interaction to the off boarding process. How can you wow your customers? How can you leave them with the best memories of working with someone? How can you make the experience so good that they always come back to you when they need something?
2. Don't miss the details
Like I mentioned earlier, each hotel had it's own unique theme and everything fit it to a T. From the carpet to the drapery, to the employee's outfits, to the chandeliers and lights, nothing was forgotten.
Everything in the Venetian had an elaborate Italian feel. The crown moldings in the hotel hallways had carved lions, the elevators were gold and iron, the columns throughout the entire hotel were pink marble. Every piece of ceiling was painted in frescos and framed out like you were in a castle or art museum. And the best part was the fully man made "Grand Canal" that ran through the hotel and out to the front that you could pay to sit in a gondola and have the gondolier sing romantic songs to you as you rode under bridges and through city squares with gas lamps and cute little Italian storefronts.
What shocked me however was the little things that people probably would have never noticed, like the restroom stall door handles. The ones in the Venetian matched the theme of Italian luxury with curved golden handles. The ones in Caesar's Palace were etched marble and matched the Roman Empire theme. And it wasn't just these two hotels, each of the large hotels had the same attention to detail.
This definitely made me think about branding and design, but this could also be attention to detail in your process, in your experience, even in your own work. It made me think about how I can look at my client's projects with that kind of attention to detail. How can I implement their branding in every little aspect that I can (of course depending on the package they choose) that would pleasantly surprise their customers and create a WOW experience?
What details do we overlook when it comes to our customer experience, branding and process?
3. Processes are Important
Each hotel in Vegas looked to the viewer like a well-oiled machine. Things were done so precisely that there was little room for error and seemed like every employee was on the same page and knew what was happening at all times.
The book Traction says that "there is a proven way you provide your service or product to your customers. You do it every time and it produces the same result. It's what got you where you are. What you need to do is capture that process in a visual format to guide your team/company/vision."
Once you have your process down on paper, then you can start simplifying it to streamline your process and build a company that is self-sustaining.
Each of us want our businesses to run smoothly and with little stress of having to step in when we don't need to. Are we like Vegas in that all our customers see is a well-oiled process machine? Or are we more frazzled and less organized? And how is that affecting our customer experience?
This has been something that I've hyper focused on recently. I find that knowing my process from the inside out helps me communicate it with my customers and gives me confidence to defend and explain the why behind it when I run into questions or concerns. It has also allowed me to build a company that could have employees in the near future who can have a crystal clear view of what we do and why we do it.
I hope these three lessons I learned from Las Vegas help you in your business, especially if you're feeling like your experience, branding or processes are lacking. And if you are feeling especially lacking in your branding, I would be happy to talk with you about partnering together to create authentic branding that creates a great experience for your customers. Click here if you want to schedule a consultation!