Forget about high-end amenities, slick bedrooms, roll-top baths and fleecy bathrobes; what really distinguishes a 5-star hotel from the rest is the attentive service they provide.
A well-trained receptionist will effortlessly discover your favourite newspaper as you check-in so that in the morning it's ready, waiting for you outside your door.
And if you stay for several days, the staff will make a note of your drinks preferences, so they're delivered just as you like them without you needing to say.
When you return to your room at night, the bed will be turned down, with a mint on your pillow.
The actual cost to the hotel to provide this is very low in comparison to how valued it makes you feel.
Think about how you can make YOUR CUSTOMERS feel like you are reading their minds.
It could be as simple as sending them a hand-written card, thanking them for their business and asking how everything is going.
This shows that you care beyond having received final payment to your invoice, and it also invites a conversation about any additional help you could provide them.
It's also a great way to prompt them to talk about you to people that they know... All good projects start with a conversation.
More often than not your current customer base is an untapped pipeline of potential leads and referrals... But you must nurture the relationships first.
If your clients write blog posts or news articles, take the time to read them and let them know what you think.
Engage with them, take an interest... Be the friendly waiter who you form a 'unique' bond with on holiday... It will set you apart from the competition.
People love to talk about amazing service, and it rarely needs to cost anything more than a little effort.
Give them something amazing to talk about.