What Does Exceptional Service Look Like

How to make guests' day and have them re-book

We’ve made it our mission at Venyou to seek out venues and operators that provide exceptional service. Our theory is that when a business goes out of its way to make other people’s day then everyone feels like they’re winning. You may not have the most expensive furniture, you may not have the biggest business or marketing budget but what you give of yourself to make other people smile is worth millions and will have customers coming back to re-book with you time and time again. 

We run two corporate brands – Let Me Out (team building, conferences, workshop facilitation, corporate retreats and events) and Venyou (a platform that profiles venues and corporate services across New Zealand and provides business support service to help venues and operators be the best they can be). In doing so, we visit a lot of venues and operators and bring thousands of customers to them every year. 

So what does exceptional service look like and how can you make that a daily practice in your business.

Be Values Driven

Exceptional service starts with understanding who you are, how you will treat people and what you expect from your staff. People often talk about values as the foundation for business but often it’s just talk and doesn’t translate into daily behaviour. To make sure that every customer and guest that interacts with your business gets exceptional service, remind yourself and your team every day what living your values looks like. Celebrate those values when you see them in action and share stories of how you demonstrate those values often. 

At Venyou, our values are in everything that we do:  

+1% (striving to be one percent better at everything that we do, every day).

Be Active

Be Amazing

Be There

Have Fun

Sometimes, we don’t get it right but we always fix things quickly and take customer feedback very seriously because we know that they can see things that we might not and we reward them for being honest with us so that we can continuously improve. 

Make Their Day

Back in 2002 I was gifted a book by an international rugby coach. What’s that got to do with service? More than you’d imagine. This coach was and still is regarded as one of the best coaches in the World and one of the reason’s he has been so successful is because he’s interested in how to inspire others to be the best they can be. He does this from taking a broad view of what can give his team an edge and the insights he gathers are not always from sport. 

The book he gave me was called Fish Tales – a book that told the story of the success of a small fish stall at the Seattle Fish Market. They shared insights on why Pikes Fish Place was more successful than any other fish stall at this market. They whittled it down to four simple values – Play. Make Their Day. Be There. Choose Your Attitude. 

When these values are applied to just about any business, they capture the hearts of their customers and repeat business and loyalty follows. 

When we see venues and operators in action, the ones that stand out are the ones who do the little extra things to make their clients and guests’ day. They don’t have to be big or expensive gestures. Something as simple as telling people how much you appreciate them, or gifting an extra dessert to the table or acknowledging someone who’s having a birthday. All these little things show that you are thinking about them and choosing to make their day. 

Fix It

We’re not always perfect in our service. Nobody can be 100% of the time. But when we get things wrong, we can make a huge difference to how the customer perceives us by fixing it. When we get feedback that something isn’t quite right, what’s our attitude? Is it their fault? Were they the problem? Even if they were, I’ve rarely been in a situation that pointing a finger at the customer makes things better. But when we own the mistake and take steps to improve, based on their feedback, then we get better and provide better service.

At Venyou and Let Me Out we always take on board the feedback that’s given. And often, we’ll send a thank you gift to the person who provided the feedback for helping us to improve our business. When we do this a number of things happen – they are always delighted and surprised that we’ve gone to the effort of sending them something. They remember how we proactively dealt with the situation and they become repeat customers because they know we’re working on being world class every day. Ultimately, they want to work with world class people and so our actions show them we’re serious about getting things right and they come back.  

Rothko's restaurant under cover at Sculpturuem

Leave Your Issues Outside

When we turn up for work, especially when we’re in the business of service, the best thing we can do is leave our issues outside. When we step into the service space, our minds should only be concerned with the wellbeing and happiness of those we are serving. This is not so easy when we all have stresses to deal with on a daily basis, but it’s our job to be at our best for our customers and clients while we’re working for them. 

I once witnessed a staff member bring her tired and miserable attitude to an event we were running. I was gobsmacked that she would even think it was ok to be grumpy and negative in front of them. Her attitude had the potential to ruin our guests’ experience and that would be the last time they booked anything with us. Needless to say, she hasn’t worked for the business since! 


Now’s the time to be seen and be supported, to bring those customers back and do what you do best – host amazing events. Listing on Venyou will be the best decision you make this week!