Chateau Chantal

Chateau Chantal Sets an Example of Trusting Customers

We are staying at the Chateau Chantal, a beautiful vineyard / Bed and Breakfast in Traverse City Michigan to celebrate Trina’s birthday. As our guide walks us through a tour, he explains for Bed and Breakfast customers much of the facility is on a trust system:

“If you drink a bottle of wine, please tell us.”

“If you eat some food from the refrigerator, note it down…”

This is like many other Bed and Breakfast. But then he gets to the surprising part:

After business hours, we will essentially have the run of the place. We can stop down to the tasting bar and choose any bottle we’d like to try. If we see something in the gift shop we’d like, we can take it back to our room and tell them before we leave. In fact, we can pretty much see, taste and do anything the business has to offer – even without employees around. They trust us and want us to feel welcome.

So last night, on our way back from a night out in Traverse City, we went to the tasting bar and gift shop. Shortly before midnight, we strolled the aisles, browsed the merchandise and chatted about possible gifts for the family. We had the place to ourselves, with the exception of two other customers, also trusted by the establishment.

On our way back to the suite, we noticed a side hallway that had a photo wall and strolled down it. As we observed the photos, we recognized the proprietor’s family. Some photos dated back to the 1930s and 40’s. There was clear family history – so much, we almost felt a part of it. Then, as we came to the end of the hallway, we saw the closed door, with a label: “The Begins” – the proprietor’s apartment. We were at their front door.

We’ll leave this beautiful bed and breakfast having not only enjoyed great wine, rest and scenery, but feeling less like a customer and more like a part of their family. They trust us here and that makes us want to return – soon.

Question: How can you trust your customers more and how would it help your business