Ever had a dining experience that felt indulgent and luxurious from the first moment you arrived? As an executive strategist, I am constantly watching how brands pay attention to their clients — there are many brilliant examples if we take the time to notice.
I recently delighted in sharing a special anniversary dinner with our visiting friends at Flemings here in Tampa. There are so many steakhouses in Tampa, and everyone has an opinion about which one is best. There is the old-fashioned Berns Steakhouse, a Tampa legend for sure, and the more modern and upscale, Meat Market in Hyde Park — but we’d heard SO much about Flemings, we weren’t sure it would live up to the hype, but indeed it did.
What made the experience live up to all the hype? The luxury mindset of the entire team.
When making our reservation, we mentioned it was our anniversary. My honey saw a social media post about their special Earth, wine and fire dinner menu – food pairings with Wagner Family wines (Caymus is one of my fave red wines… yes, I drink something other than champagne!). From start to finish, we felt special:
- They handed us a congratulatory anniversary card at check-in along with a sweet-smelling pink rose.
- As they walked us to our table, they offered congratulations on our anniversary.
- When we arrived at our dinner table, Sebastian (our fabulous server) introduced himself and said, “Let’s get Champagne to celebrate!”
- He outlined what came next: we’d have champagne first, then take photos, and then order our dinner.
- He offered to take photos on our camera and also pulled out his camera saying, “I will take one on my camera too…” Imagine our surprise when he bought framed photos (for both couples) back to our table, and the frame read “Your moment. Your Flemings” (so clever).
- He presented us each with a gorgeous envelope filled with colored cards outlining the story and images of each wine course and the matching food pairing.
- The manager came to our table to wish us happy anniversary.
- Our dessert included a piped chocolate “happy anniversary'” on our plate.
- … and just when we didn’t think there could be any more surprises, a little box of chocolate truffles was handed to us to take home to keep the celebrations going!
Some of you may have had similar experiences in your own favorite restaurants. I love to hear about the little touches teams do to make their clients feel special and seen. This isn’t by accident. Our whole evening was extreme and exquisite example of what we outline in our book, Attention Pays, called:
If you have our book, re-read pages 88- 91, where we share specific strategies to implement systemized thoughtfulness into your business. You will see on these pages we share ideas on ways to make your team and clients feel seen and empowered.
As I’ve shared before, luxury isn’t about things, it’s a mindset. And one of the best ways to do that is through systemized thoughtfulness. It’s easy to make someone feel like the center of your attention — the Flemings team certainly did that! — and create a system for being kind. Throughout the night we watched every team member share a small gesture of congratulations and marveled at the system they all used to make this happen. Not only was the experience memorable, but it was so remarkable that we’ve become fans of Flemings and are now sharing our experience with others.
What if the systems for your business were just as good at building relationships AND building results, both inside of your organization?
The Flemings team was eloquently trained and empowered to delight their guests and engage in conversations and processes. It all appeared seamless to their guests, but you and I know this execution has a system of thoughtfulness.
This type of experience doesn’t have to be confined to fine dining or services — any business can implement systems of thoughtfulness that empower your team to delight your clients and encourage them to deliver their most exceptional results for your company.
Some ideas for implementing systemized thoughtfulness with your team:
When you attract the top talent to your company, ensure their onboarding experience is exceptional.
- Check-in with them on their first day, at the end of their first week and at the month’s end.
- Share in detail the luxury standards of your workplace to allow them to quickly understand your culture of taking care of your clients.
Invest in both professional technical development skills and personal development skills, so your team members know you are investing in them.
- Consider a ‘day in the life of’ type training program that allow them to rotate through different roles in the company so they get a great overall view of your company.
- Share specific language you want team members to use to represent you and your brand.
Give your well-trained team the authority to delight their clients.
- Leverage tools your team already uses daily — i.e. Sebastian with his camera, everyone carries a camera in their hands.
- Document possible options for each position that allows them to do something special for your clients.
- Consider allocating budgets for your sales leadership team to thank clients for their business.
Consider your employee rewards system.
- Do you incentivize your team to go above and beyond for your clients?
- What could you do to recognize your high performers?
- Do you read the reviews of your business online and then reward your team?
- Can you create employee engagement opportunities to have people identify brilliant behaviors among your team and give away awards monthly?
- Rewards could include:
- Monetary incentives
- Gift cards
- Lunch with the boss
- Time off
- Extra vacation days
- Buying lunch for everyone
- Extra days dedicated to their fave charity
- Rewards could include:
Get creative with your rewards to thank those team members who not only turn up for you and your business each day but also take great care of your clients to ensure they return.
Remember, as you often hear me say, INTENTION makes ATTENTION valuable.
As a busy leader, you’re often driven by two goals: how to GROW revenue, and to do that, how to BUILD your team.
Given the fast-paced nature of business today, it’s often easy to fall into the trap of focusing on metrics rather than the meaning behind them.
Your metrics might include sales growth, conversation rates, sell-through, average purchases, or even client conversations. But when you think about it, why are those metrics important?
Because of what those metrics mean for the health of what’s driving those metrics in the first place: engaged employees, deeper relationships with clients, personal and professional satisfaction—and especially the relationships you have with your clients.
If you’re looking for a way to get started, here’s our Systemized Thoughtfulness Spreadsheet.
Your attention is one of the greatest gifts you can give anyone, and when you complement that with brilliant systems, it can be a gift that your team shares too.
So, what are you going to do to build systemized thoughtfulness and a luxury mindset for your team? Share your ideas with me by clicking the button below, maybe I can share your great ideas in our newsletter!