This Week’s Episode:
We can’t be in business without customers and clients. Therefore, how do we stack the deck to earn their patronage?
My guest today is an expert in the customer experience and more specifically in creating memories. Darren Ross operates the Magic Castle Hotel in Hollywood, CA and has a gift for creating memories unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before.
Want to know what bothers him about the typical hotel experience, especially at major chains? Or how he uniquely attracts customers? Or how the famous Popsicle Hotline at his hotel operates? In this episode, Darren and I discuss a ton of tantalizing topics including: using story as a competitive advantage, training our service reflex and its impact on creative thinking, behaving *nicely* as a consumer which results in surprises(Hello free upgrade!) and a whole lot more.
What you will learn in this episode:
- How creating moments earn memories
- Why business owners should incentivize story creation
- How to develop a service reflex
Who is Darren?
In 1995, Darren Ross wanted to make a career out of making people happy. So he started working in hospitality with Hyatt Hotels and won an award from the California Tourism Board two years later for “Hospitality Employee of the Year.” He left in 1998 for a spot on the opening management team for the Beach House Hotel in Hermosa Beach, CA where he created its standards of service.
After leaving the Beach House, Darren started a “secret shopping” company focused on restaurants and hotels where he and his staff went undercover to evaluate the customer experience for companies. One of those companies was the private club The Magic Castle in Hollywood. After soliciting his services, the family that owned the club offered him a General Manager position for the hotel of the same name next door. They handed him the keys to managing all three of their properties soon after.
In 2013, Darren created his hotel management company Service Freak Hospitality, LLC and under him, the hotel went from ordinary-looking with limited services to a multi-award-winning business with unique amenities and high customer service levels. Magic Castle Hotel has received the Best Guest Relations in California award from the state’s Hotel Lodging Association six out of the last nine years. It’s also consistently in the top hotels in Los Angeles on Tripadvisor and has been featured multiple times in books, podcasts, and customer service articles.
Links & Resources
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JULIAN REEVESPEAKER, AUTHOR, FORMER MUSIC DIRECTOR OF HAMILTON
JUNA KOLLMEIERASTROPHYSICIST, TED SPEAKER
LTC (RET.) SCOTT MANNGREEN BERET, ENTREPRENEUR, STORYTELLER, TRAINER, COACH, AUTHOR