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One was paid for, the other one granted.

I wrote this as I wound down six days in California: three at the luxurious Terranea Resort and three in Palm Springs.

The scenery, service and accommodations at Terranea were first class. Every member of their team greeted us warmly and courteously, and overall, our stay was flawless.

Afterwards, we traveled to Palm Springs. Our accommodations were clean and comfortable—a step (or three) down from the Terranea experience, which we expected.

We didn’t expect to receive the same world-class service.

Two local establishments we visited weren’t luxurious, fancy or expensive. Yet we received the same courtesy and warmth as we did at Terranea.

How did these businesses match a luxurious resort’s world-class service?

The owners paid attention to us from the minute we walked in the door.

While Terranea's staff members are well trained on how to maximize their guests’ experience, this treatment (which we appreciated) was paid for with the room fees.

The Palm Springs experience came from a different source. The owners treated us—and anyone else who walked through their door—like close friends. Each owner told us a little bit about their business: describing a canvas wall print in one or certain album covers in another.

The warmth of these personal touches helped them provide world-class service and care at a local level.

As small business owners, we struggle every day to set ourselves apart from our larger competitors with more resources. One way we can stand out is by delivering personal, genuine service to our customers.

How do you stand out from your competition?

p.s. Wondering about those amazing local establishments we visited?

Palm Springs Vinyl Records and Collectibles offers a wonderful collection of movies, music posters and vinyl records, including a large selection of 45s—many in their original sleeves.

Peabody's Cafe and Bar serves a delicious lunch right in downtown. The food is fresh, servings are ample, and the service is friendly and attentive.


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