Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Players Club

Back in the mid-1980s, you couldn’t turn on a television set during the daytime without seeing a commercial featuring Telly Savalas promoting the “Players Club Gold Card.”

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Those commercials kind of cracked me up. Even for the 1980s they seemed cheaply produced, and I was never convinced that you would actually get much value out the card if you purchased one.

But I understood what they were trying to sell. It wasn’t the card itself, it was the experience of feeling like you were someone special – someone who got treated like a VIP. If the commercial was to believed, the Players Club Gold Card got you access to better treatment (in the form of cost savings) at hotels and casinos than the average person on the street.

I had an experience lately that made me feel a bit like a Players Club member. This past weekend, after some hiking and rafting around the Green River and mountain biking the Wasatch Crest Trail, my wife, some friends, and I went to a decidedly less active activity: a Sunday brunch at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

I had been to this brunch only once before, last spring. I don’t live in Utah and don’t do brunch very often, so this was not part of normal routine. Imagine my surprise, then, when the Maitre d’ came up to me and said “Glad to see you back again.” He said it specifically to me. I don’t think this was something he was just guessing about, it was pretty clear he knew I’d been there before.

Now, I’m sure he sees hundreds of guests every Sunday brunch, and I don’t think it is likely he has a photographic memory of everyone he sees. Instead, I think he did some homework and preparation. Maybe when I made the reservation for the brunch he was able to cross check the name with a database of previous brunch patrons (I had made the reservation and paid with my credit card the last time I went to the brunch).

While I’m not entirely sure how he did it, but what I do know is that it made me feel like I was a VIP. His simple gesture of acknowledging my return really made my day, and I really appreciated the effort.

As usual, I related that experience to what we do at Imagine!. As much as we’d like to, we simply can’t do everything that everybody we serve wants. There are funding limitations and regulatory barriers that prevent that from happening, and it just isn’t realistic to think we have the capacity to provide everyone with exactly what they need and want.

But what we can, and should, do is prepare. We should do our homework, we should know as much as we can about the people we serve and the services that are available to them. We should study and plan. Things that may seem unimportant to others (like the fact that I had brunch at the Grand America once before this past weekend) can be very important to the end user (like me when that fact was acknowledged by the Maitre d’.)

At Imagine!, I believe our path to success is best paved with knowledge and preparation. We have made the commitment to ensure that we have the business intelligence to make this possible for every Imagine! employee. We want to make sure that the people we serve are part of an exclusive Players Club, a club that provides them access to the best services and supports possible.

Then again, what do I know?

No comments:

Post a Comment