In March 2019, I visited the Geneva Motor Show. My first event there was the world premiere of the Pininfarina Battista, a US$2 million electric hypercar, but my train from Paris was delayed and I arrived at the fancy Hotel President Wilson, site of the event, already late. When the doorman opened the taxi door, I experienced something I did not expect: I was greeted by name. Given the hundreds of people arriving at the hotel that day, I never expected this. Even more, the doorman knew I was attending the show. He smiled and said, “Welcome Dr Langer, I know you are late, let me take care of everything in regards to your luggage. We will bring you directly to the event, so that you can fully focus on that.” Do millennials dream of electric cars … or yachts, or planes? The power of using a guest’s name and even anticipating their emotional state was a game changer. I felt like I was arriving home. Taken care of. Valued. In a moment when I was stressed and annoyed, the personal touch and full attention towards me made all the difference. It created a memory I will never forget. Why fashion and luxury will never be the same after coronavirus The Viceroy Los Cabos resort in Mexico was designed as a celebration of water and it certainly shows. Water wraps around the resort and into the Sea of Cortez. The resort has a collection of bright blue oval pools. No matter which way you face, you’ll always see water. pic.twitter.com/qcachspYgU — Baystate and APC (@BaystateAPC) January 16, 2020 I recently visited the stunning Viceroy Los Cabos resort in Mexico to give a leadership seminar. There, I experienced something even more memorable: not only did every one of the staff greet me by name, but they all introduced themselves. After a few days I knew the names of half of the staff and every conversation felt like one between friends. The staff knew where I was going, where I had been before, how I spent my day and they saw me many times busy preparing my class and in on-site meetings. The highlight was a waiter named Pablo Marban, who always smiled, always joked about me forgetting his name, and made every morning a delight. I consider the experience with him the best customer experience I ever had in my life. Exchanging names was a significant part of it. No company is safe from Covid-19: 6 luxury brands filing for bankruptcy During these interactions I realised how underutilised the power of names is. Using them transformed an already great experience into a total luxury immersion that felt maximally personal. When I asked him about that, Peter Bowling, general manager of the Viceroy Los Cabos, told me that he wants the guests to feel “at home, and cared for”. To me, this is the ultimate luxury. I recall a similar experience at Ermenegildo Zegna’s store in New York. When I recently entered after not being there for two years, the manager came to me with a smile and said, “Daniel, where have you been?” I did not expect to be recognised after such a long time. He told me to take a seat, brought an espresso and made me feel I was coming back to my family. It was not a shopping experience, but an experience of utmost care. As a result, I bought a suit, but what really stood out was feeling part of the brand, starting with being recognised and called by my name. Grasping ‘added luxury value’ is crucial for brands in the service industry In many brand audits with luxury marques, the personal touch is missing. Even at the highest price points, relationships are too transactional. As a result, they alienate potential customers and reduce the likelihood of returning customers. They forget that luxury is about creating a memorable experience. If there is no memory, there is no value created. Something as simple as using names can change a transactional experience into an experience customers will never forget. Feeling authentic interest and receiving truly personal service has become so rare that it makes a huge difference. And the best thing is: it costs nothing. It requires strategic thinking though. In interactions, the staff need to be aware of what they are expected to do. They need to be trained and procedures also need to be put in place to ensure seamless handovers between staff members. Can Boeing regain customer trust as its 737 MAX takes flight again? Nothing is more annoying than to feel at home somewhere, then on your return no one knows your name. Your positive mood sours, closeness turns to distance. Hence, once a brand uses your name, they need to make sure your next experience is as personal as your last one. That is the ultimate luxury. And it starts just with your name. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .