Sure, as Trek Travel cycling guides we get paid to ride high-end road bikes in beautiful destinations around the world. But as the face of our company, we have a responsibility to provide world-class customer service. Trek Travel evaluates itself on the ability to wow our guests, so as guides we must be equipped to deliver uncompromising service.
Companies talk all the time about providing exceptional customer service. Executives far removed from the front lines make promises and commitments that may or may not be fulfilled. But from someone who works directly with customers from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep each day, what exactly does it take to create an outstanding experience?
It sounds simple, but you will never know what someone wants unless you ask. Don’t assume you know what each customer is looking for and know that there isn’t one catchall solution. We like to say, “It’s your day, you decide.” In order to create a perfect vacation, the details are important. It’s impossible for us to know how far you want to ride, the type of food you like to eat, or your favorite type of wine to share at dinner unless we ask. And those are exactly the type of details that create a world-class experience.
2. Give The Customer What They Want
Asking the customer what they’re looking for is inadequate unless we listen to the response. We’ve seen it all and we’re here to be fun and flexible. So when someone says they want to take a helicopter off the top of Alpe d’Huez or get married in the Tuscan countryside, we don’t stop until we’ve found a way to make it happen. Will it be the perfect solution every time? No. But there’s really no such thing as a crazy request.
3. Go Above and Beyond
Meeting needs isn’t enough. There are too many great companies that successfully fulfill customer requests and deliver on their promises. Unfortunately that’s where a lot of people stop. What makes good customer service great is the desire to go above and beyond in exceeding expectations. As cycling vacation guides, part of our responsibilities include waking up early to clean bikes, fill water bottles, oil chains, pump tires and set up snack tables. What takes the service to another level is doing all of this with a smile on our face no matter how little sleep we had the night before and placing a piece of chocolate on your seat just to ensure that your day starts in the best way possible. When it comes to customer service, little things go a long way.
“My lasting memory of my time with Trek Travel was for the kind ride staff and logistical support crew who left nothing to chance. In all my years of travelling with my bike I’ve rarely encountered such a completely professional service with seemingly effortless attention to the details, no matter how small.” – Guy Andrews, a cycling journalist, author, and founder of Rouleur Magazine