Having spent over a decade helping clients build customer experiences that deliver their brand promises, it Is a real joy to come across a business that achieves “irresistibility” naturally through the delivery of Brilliant Basics and then tops it off with a few Magic Moments.
Last week I was fortunate enough to have such an experience in the wonderful city of Lisbon during our annual company strategy review and fun 2 day session.
Having chosen Lisbon as a city I had visited on business but never “seen” I set about finding a tour company who would show use both the sights and the spirit of this great city.
I briefed 4 companies and got 3 very thorough, professional and well put together itineraries that would show 13 people the key sights and historical context of the city that gave the world the great Navigators.
The 4th was very different, the first clue was their name – Wehatetourismtours. They didn’t give me an itinerary they gave me a feeling about their passion and love for the city along with a compelling narrative about how they were set up. Young, highly educated people who could not get a job during the global recession, so they took matters into their own hands and this amazing business is the result. An apparently higher risk choice but all of the pre and post sales conversations gave me the absolute confidence that these people were just right and their website really supported this.
From the moment of first contact to waving goodbye, this gloriously, passionate bunch of “experts” lived their brand in such a way that not only gave us an amazingly contemporary view of the city (both physical and emotional) but also delivered an experience that totally understood how today’s consumer consumes.
Key to their success was a natural blend of brilliant basics, little wows and magic moments.
Some examples that might inspire you…..
They sorted out our dinner arrangements for the night before the tour even though they were nothing to do with it, nor did they earn any money.
Their overall relaxed style and attitude reinforced a confidence as they really got under the skin of their guests.
They drove us around in an old open topped jeep and battered VW mini bus, it is not often I have been photographed by tourists, when I am touring!
Their amazing passion and knowledge of both historical context but also of the city today and what is impacting on its future.
The cakes they bought us and laid out on a table in the back of their van after we have visited a famous bakery.
The panoramic view you'd never expect behind a grey uninviting gate and there were no other tourists there.
The local dessert wine they served us while we looked at the view.
The big Magic Moment of lunch at “their house” using the local restaurants to provide a very local meal, describing what the courses meant to them as Portuguese people, the wine that was from the vineyard furthest west in any western country.
These are but a few of the details that made a good tour of the city into an unforgettable one.
So what can we learn from this wonderfully insightful and infectious bunch of people?
1. If you are true to your values you will do the right things for your customers.
2. The narrative around your brand is critical and you should be proud of it.
3. Understatement is a powerful force.
4. Have faith in building your brand through experience. Delivering a great experience to one person may look like its an expensive cost to the business but it will deliver you many more people on the back of it – just ask Bruno, one of the founders of the business.
5. Measuring customer satisfaction can be instantaneous – it usually comes attached to a huge cheesy grin!!
6. If you are in Lisbon and you don’t ask these wonderful people to show you the city they love you will miss something very special.