Car Guys and Facilities Managers – What Mercedes Benz Can Teach You About Customer Experience

Jay Scotts Guest Blogger (1)

Jimmy is a Facilities Manager at one of the premier resort properties in Southwest Florida. He obviously has a big job. Every day Jimmy sees to dozens of details to keep his property both functional and beautiful.  He’s very good at his work, and therefore, he knows when to ask for help. With so much going on it’s impossible to keep the highest standards in everything, especially where it matters most. Closest to the guest experience.  The same is true of Mercedes Benz.

Mercedes has a separate division called Designo. This division has nothing to do with engine performance or powertrains. Designo’s sole focus is the Mercedes Benz cabin-environment. These are the details the passengers are closest to. Mercedes puts a premium on their customer experience, therefore, they don’t leave these details to the car-guys.

  • Car-guys love engines.
  • Car-guys love tires and suspension.
  • Car-guys love acceleration.

Of course, Mercedes Benz owners want a reliable car with a fantastic driving experience, but the part of the vehicle they’re closest to and experience most is the interior “fit and finish.” Mercedes doesn’t leave these essential details to the car-guys. As good as they are, the car-guys aren’t passionate about leather and upholstery and trim.  Of course not – they’re car-guys! That’s where the Designo team shines. The Designo division is comprised of craftsman who are experts in their specific trades. They create a unique and superior experience for a Mercedes Benz customer. 

Facility managers are Car-guys!

Like car-guys, facility managers are incredible professionals that make buildings perform to the highest standards. Your guests want cool air and hot water. Comfortable buildings are the result of expertise in A/C and plumbing systems. Your guests, however, want not just comfort, but comfort-plus. Depending on your property and the promises you make, they want (expect?), more, more, more!

Are you too close to your own facility?

This gives new meaning to the phrase “too close for comfort.”

Like car-guys, facility managers (and general managers, etc.) can be “too close” to the mechanical and functional work of a building to consider the details of a “comfort-plus” experience.  Yes, the mechanical workings of the facility are important – critically important. All the more reason to create a strategy that consistently delivers on basic customer expectations and the “plus” features of a memorable experience.

The best facilities managers, like Jimmy, know their limits – they know when to ask for help. Jimmy relies on the expertise of Interior Plant Scapes (bet you didn’t see that coming) to create a comfort-plus atmosphere for the guests at his resort.  Seriously, as a smart facility manager, Jimmy is convinced live plants and gorgeous decorative containers are an essential amenity (also part of his resort’s brand standard). He’s also smart enough to “know what he doesn’t know.” 


Being a “know-it-all” can hurt you

Knowing what you don’t know is about respect for another person’s trade and expertise. No one can know it all, especially in today’s economy.  Recently, my wife and I were on vacation with two other couples. As we experienced different properties and locales, it was eye-opening to see my guy friends notice things I completely missed.  My contractor friend pointed out building flaws and features I never saw. My hospitality friend had an astute eye for service from the staff. Me? Well of course the potted plants and planters had my scrutiny.  Each of us said something like, “wow, I never noticed that until you pointed it out.” We each saw the world from our own areas of expertise.

DIY is often a fool’s errand.  Mercedes Benz gets it. Jimmy gets it.  How about you? Trusting another person’s expertise is how to create a “Plus-it” experience, as Walt Disney was famous for saying. This is why we trust those with the expertise of fiberglass planters like the works of art from Jay Scotts. 

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