The vacation that built loyalty
Now that the madness of the last month has died down (the AQUOS 1080p D82 Challenge is alive and rockin’ in the green world!), I’ve been able to reflect on my trip to Cancun (yes, I offset my footprint!) and how the simple experience of a week’s vacation morphed into my complete loyalty to Club Med, and how paying attention to your customer’s needs (expressed or not) makes the biggest difference in how someone views your brand… and starts to spread word of mouth.
I’d been to Club Med Cancun two years previously when it was an adults only resort, and after the devastation of hurricane Wilma they recently re-opened as family friendly in November of 2006. Now, I’m not one to enjoy crowded swimming pools with screaming kids and waits for beach chairs or drinks, so I was a bit apprehensive when Kevin and I got on the plane. I really shouldn’t have worried. Kev and I really couldn’t believe our eyes. It felt like there were maybe 50 people at any one place at one time. The kids were off with the G.O.’s doing their own thing and when they walked through the resort they were happy, and oddly well behaved. The parents who we spoke with all said how wonderful it was for them to be on vacation, be able to relax, and not have to worry about their kids. A vacation away from the kids, with the kids. Perfect.
The beauty of a Club Med is that it allows you to choose your own experience and they do whatever it takes to facilitate it. If you want to go all out and do sports all day – the G.O. team is there. If you want to hang out on the beach with a cerveza and zen out to the ocean (Tamera), they leave you alone except to facilitate the cerveza’s. The Chef de Village, Eyal, was exemplary and ensured that the live music each night, circus acts and every thing and every one was running smoothly. It was especially nice for him to welcome and then see off the bus of rowdy Torontonians… it really is the little things that make an experience exceptional.
And what can anyone say about the local staff – the bartenders, cooks, housekeeping, gardening and security – but warm, amazing, diligent. Everyone at Club Med wanted to be there (well, as much as one would want to be at work when it’s 32 C out…) and it emanated down to the guests.
The excursions arranged through the Club are also top notch. Our trip to Coba and Tulum was led by a certified archeological tour leader who’d been in Quinta Roo for 12 years, and was punctuated by lunch at the Club Med archeological villa at Coba with the chance for a light swim. Perfect day.
The same experience with the private catamaran snorkeling trip to Isla Muejheres. The crew was superb and a ton of fun, the sun was shining and Mexico was beautiful. It emanates through every person Club Med engages.
The moral of the story – Kevin and I cannot imagine another vacation elsewhere unless we’re doing our own local adventures. We’re fans and that matters. It may cost a bit more to go to a Club Med, but, this experience is worth the cost.
The product experience lives up to the branding, and the company and employees care… and that is unfortunately exceedingly rare these days.
Air Transat on the other hand, well, I won’t ruin this post with that tale.