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Thursday, June 13, 2013

100 Days of Gratitude, Day 9: Little Touches Mean a Lot

When you're on the road as often as we are, with a modest budget, you kind of get used to basic lodging. We don't generally stay at "bad" places (although there was that one trip in February...) but we certainly don't go luxury. We work with nonprofit organizations, after all!

That's why this place, Le Pavillon in New Orleans, was such a pleasant surprise. I got a killer deal on this hotel on Expedia, and thanks to my  Expedia Elite membership, we received quite the welcome!

First of all, Le Pavillon is an elegant, old-school New Orleans hotel. Then, the little touches really made me feel important. A friendly greeting, prompt check in, complimentary water, a little fruit basket, cookies, a personalized note from one of the management team with a drink coupon, fluffy robe, and extra peanut butter and jelly sandwiches since we arrived very late.

For very little additional cost, the staff at Le Pavillon made this guest feel really important.

Is your organization able to do this? Of course. Here's a few simple tips:
Le Pavillon's PB&J Buffet

  • A little food goes a long way. Yes, people have all sorts of food issues nowadays, but don't let that scare you away from providing a few treats here and there. I'm always amazed how far a pizza party or ice cream social will go with volunteers and donors!
  • Making something personalized will always be welcomed. I'm guessing that the management team member who wrote my note has that saved in a file; I'm not presuming that she wrote it especially for me. But it was addressed to me, and it thanked me for picking this property. That was nice.
  • Training is critical, and should be offered to everyone, regardless of how much interaction you think they will have with the public. I can't tell you the number of times I have arrived late to a hotel after a long day of travel. And, I'm often dealing with the person stuck with the overnight shift who doesn't like people. How many times have things gone sour with a donor because of a single unexpected interaction with someone who's "not supposed to talk to donors"?
These little touches didn't cost much, but they seemed to be offered with genuine caring and hospitality. Think about ways that you can provide extra little things for people in your life and they'll feel special too. Thanks, Le Pavillon, for reminding me of that.

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