I live in what is the definition of a resort market. Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on the Colorado River. With a theme park, world class skiing, whitewater rafting, and every other outdoor method of outdoor fun, it is a lively place, full of people being humans. The concept behind Dealing With Humans applies to virtually any business regularly dealing with customers, clients, guests, and the lot. But nowhere is it more apparent than in a high-end resort market, or ANY place people go to “escape”, for that matter. We will talk about that word in a moment.
People love to vacation, if they can. It is a luxury on one level or another, and humans bask in it. While I do believe people take vacations to escape their regular life, I believe that what humans like even more than that, is the ability to have needs met. Those needs consist of the both the superficial ones, like being catered to, and the ones they may, or may not, be aware of. Those are the ones we talk about in these columns. Those are the needs that we don’t feel we get fulfilled in everyday life, so we go somewhere to find them. They don’t have to be a vacation. They can be a spa weekend, a nice dinner, or other comfy indulgence. It is those instances that we can be at our best, and our worst, as customers.
When I worked in The Grand Canyon in my 20’s we used to joke that the tourists “left their brains at home”. But that is not what happened. What some of them left at home, was their ability to manage how they handle getting their needs fulfilled. But, all of them came with the intention of feeling safe, happy, served, and having a sense of belonging. Remember, those are the things we are seeking daily, but having difficulty finding, due to our environments, and the circumstances surrounding everyday existence. They were operating with a different filter than when in their everyday environments. When I finally learned that, after dealing with thousands of them, dealing with humans became easier for me than it ever had before. And more fulfilling.
I also want to dispel the long-standing myth that wealthy people in a resort are harder to please. Listen. Every demographic has a percentage of people that are difficult to make happy. After serving people on virtually every level of the socioeconomic spectrum, from Presidents to Teachers, Celebrities to Truck Drivers, I can tell you one thing. Affluent people, when dealt with professionally and respectfully, are probably the easiest demographic to consistently please. I repeat. When dealt with professionally and respectfully.
So, if you are someone dealing with humans in a resort environment, my hat is off to you. You have that extra daily challenge of making people with high expectations happy. For those of you who’s business is not related to tourism, learning what humans expect from their “vacations” can help you in giving them what they need. You don’t need to put a mint on the pillow, but you can elevate your customer service experience. Give them what they need, even when they aren’t on vacation. If you do, they will comeback. Trust me.