My 5-Figure Vacation… And How to Get Your Customers to Pay More, Gladly with Kim Walsh Phillips
And then he jumped from the ice rink, into my lap, and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
We were seated front row at the fabulous ice show aboard the ship and during the scene of the “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the main character played off of me as the gag to make the audience, especially my kids, laugh. And I loved it.
Of course, none of this was by accident.
This was all carefully orchestrated by my “Genie” on board our Royal Caribbean vacation. I’ve bragged on them before, but this was my favorite vacation with them of all time. It was the first time I tried their “Star Class,” and the first time I spent this much money on a vacation.
Before I dive into this vacation, why I was willing to pay more, why it was worth it, and how you can use these same strategies to make more profit per sale, let’s get something clear…
Vacations like this only happen now because: (a) I am no longer in debt, (b) I had a very nice exit after the sale of my million-dollar marketing firm, (c) I can afford vacations after all of my expenses, charitable contributions, and tithing to my church takes place. When I was broke, I made the most of what I did have with an inside cabin on a weekend ship and snuck my own cocktail ingredients on board. (Sorry RCL!)
And while others might like to buy things like a fleet of hot cars or a Stadium-Sized TV, now that I have money, I prefer to spend my disposable cash on experiences.
That being said, let’s dive into the scrumptiousness of the trip…
First, we started off weeks ahead of time with a personal email from our dedicated “Genie” Hossain, asking for our preferences while on board and a suggested itinerary for the week. I was in Moscow when I got that message and was able to share all of our specific requests with Hossain, (like hiring a private car to take us to our resort in Jamaica, planning a date night with the Tall One while we were on board, and surprising my dad with a birthday celebration in our suite) and he took care of everything. No multiple emails or phone calls needed. Just a simple email and swiftly it was done.
The day before the cruise, Hossain messaged us again to tell us how much he looked forward to meeting us the next day. And then on that day, he was there to greet us right at our agreed to time, when we were swiftly taken through security and to our Suite which was ready hours before the advertised time. He had also made sure the suite cards for my parents were waiting at our check-in so they could get through quickly as well.
And dang our Suite was FAB-U-LOUS
It was the nicest I had ever been in. Okay, let’s be real, it was nicer than any house I had ever lived in before I turned 40. Two full bathrooms. A full dining room. Living room. Bathtub overlooking the ocean. Hot tub on the balcony. Customized lighting in every area of the suite. Motorized Blinds.
My girls enjoying the jacuzzi on our private balcony.
Loved the suite.
And then the perks just kept coming. Everything that usually costs a few bucks more on board was included.
Deluxe beverage package? Check.
Specialty dining in one of the fine restaurants on board each night? Check.
The upgraded surf and turf in that restaurant? Check.
Any drink you wanted from the Starbucks on board, daily? Check.
All laundry and pressing of clothes? Check.
Room Service for any food you want from any restaurant with a private line to order so you never have to wait on hold? Check.
Daily restocked mini-bar with beverages of choice? Check.
Front row seating to EVERY show? Check.
And a daily visit from my personal bartender to make a custom cocktail before my afternoon nap? Check, check, check.
Date night with the Tall One. In a park. In the middle of the ship.
Seriously… it was amazing.
And here’s the thing. I paid a lot more for this trip than I ever had before… and I will do it again gladly next year. In fact, that trip is already booked.
Because I already loved cruising and they took away all the little things I didn’t like and added in even more that made it special.
No more waiting on hold endlessly to reach someone. No more eating in the crowded dining room. No more having to get to a show an hour ahead of time to get a good seat. No more dragging home soggy dirty clothes to launder at home. It seems like they found a way to get rid of every annoying thing about a cruise and make it nearly perfect.
And then they added surprises, too…
Like Hossain left us gifts and a personal note one night for my girls, The Tall One and me. And the day I asked to have a cake and champagne for my dad’s birthday in my suite, he did so much more… a custom cake with Dad’s name in chocolate, gorgeous decorations everywhere, cupcakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, macaroons, champagne, a cheese plate…
A present from our “Genie”
A personalized birthday surprise for my dad in our suite.
And he checked on us at least twice a day, meeting us where we were dining or saving our seats before a show. Plus, he has already offered to help us with reservations the next time we head to Dubai as he was a concierge there for more than 14 years…
I mean, all of the yesses.
Royal Caribbean did the exact thing we as business owners should do every day… find a way to get your best customers to gladly pay more and then become your raving fan, telling others about the fabulous experiences.
Some of the RCL strategies to apply to your business…
1. A survey was sent ahead of time to customize our time on board… are you finding out about the individual preferences of your customers? Can you customize their experience with you?
2. We were made to feel welcome before we ever stepped foot on the ship. How do you welcome your guests and make them feel special?
3. We were given personal attention, and all of the things that normally annoy us on a cruise were eliminated. Can you offer a level of service at a higher price point that includes this?
4. There were many surprises and delights. From the gifts to our front row seats, to my dad’s birthday celebration, exceeding our expectations. Are you able to surprise and delight your best customers?
While not all of your customers will pay for this higher level of service, there are enough who could very well make it worth it, because of the higher profit margin you get with each.
How can you surprise and delight your next customer experience?
About Kim Walsh Phillips
Kim Walsh Phillips is the master of helping successful professionals reach 1 million dollars in revenue. She is the CEO of Elite Digital Group – a direct response social media agency, Elite Capital Advisors – lead generation for financial advisors, and Powerful Professional – a community of professionals who lead by example. She is also the co-author of the best-selling book with Dan Kennedy, “The No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing.”
To snag a free copy of her Client Attraction Blueprint, visit
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