Plus3 Charlotte?

A business model I was introduced to here in Charlotte was Top Golf and I am impressed on how thoughtful they were in order to incur as many sales as possible from an hour excursion. Top Golf’s stream of income comes from sales. Each bay is rented out on a first come, first serve basis, and then each player must sign up for a lifetime membership. The simple idea of the lifetime membership is incentive enough to consider coming back and for Top Golf that means repeat sales. While waiting for your bay, there is no seating for your waiting time which could extend anywhere from immediate service to several hours which I learned from a TripAdvisor review. This time is passed instead at either the bar or playing the tailgate style games they offer. This makes buying a drink almost seem like the most rational thing to do, and contributes to what is I’m sure a considerable part of their revenue. In the bay itself, you are seated at a high-top dining table, with well-designed menus and a server comes quickly to greet you. The setting almost makes you feel like you must order something. I think that this is a really good sales technique because someone could certainly choose not to order anything if the seating style was different. I compare this to a bowling alley because it’s a similar model. At the bowling alley, the seating style which is in rows facing the alley as opposed to a dining table does not put ordering food or drinks at the front of your mind in the way Top Golf spurs that desire. 

When walking through Downtown, it’s obvious that there has been a lot of time and money spent on each business’s marketing scheme. We spent an evening at an Ice Cream Shop called Jeni’s and as soon as we stepped out of the Uber, each of us girls all exclaimed how “cute” the shop and area surrounding was. There was a patio area that had Jeni’s on one side and a restaurant with outdoor seating on the opposite side. There was music that filled the whole outdoor area and the freshly made waffle cones made an intoxicatingly sweet aroma for everyone to enjoy. The line was very long, and we probably waited 20 minutes to be served, but this wasn’t an issue for anyone waiting in the queue (even when it began to rain!). The environment curated by Jeni’s and the restaurant made everyone very amicable and no one groaned or turned away because of the line. I was impressed by how simply putting on music and a nice smell made a huge difference for customers!

In our short time in Charlotte, I believe each of us were quick to learn that “Southern Hospitality” is certainly not a myth! The customer service provided by each of the employees at the Hyatt Hotel has shown how going above and beyond with accommodating guests can alter the entire experience. While Charlotte wasn’t the destination we had in mind, being greeted with genuine warmth and having any requests be immediately tended to, has put a great impression on all of us on the trip. The impact of the service I experienced here has been so wonderful that when staying within the United States, I’ll be sure to consider Hyatt. I learned here that something as simple and overlooked as customer service can generate repeat business very easily and without any addition cost! On the reverse side of customer service, the disappointment with American Airlines shows how the poor service we were treated with may lead a group of 17 to never choose American again. 

I also would like to mention the problem-solving skills that Liz and Chris and the rest of Pitt’s study abroad program has displayed. In spite of American Airlines giving us nothing but excuses, our trip leaders have managed to find hotel accommodations at 2 AM for a group of 17 as well as come up with an itinerary given no notice. We could have spent until the next morning in the airline waiting for answers, but Liz and Chris remained adaptable and have given our group the best experience possible in Charlotte which reflects positively of Pitt’s Study Abroad Programs for us students.

In particular, I learned a lot about customer service and the impact of business. I used to be a manager at Rita’s and I plan on sharing my experience at Jeni’s with my old boss in order to stimulate some more sales for them! In general, at the forefront of the experience so far, I’ve learned that maintaining a balanced attitude and being as amiable as possible in spite of circumstance can completely change the outlook of the situation. 

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