May I Take Your Photo?–A Lesson in Great Customer Service

Givers Gain Art

I was at the BNI® U.S. National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee last week and every day, room service would come up and deliver my meals (often, right as a meeting in my suite was wrapping up).   Leslie (pictured below) was the employee who most often made the deliveries during the last part of my stay. On one of these days, I had a group of ten BNI Directors in my suite. They were kind enough to give me a Givers Gain® plaque (pictured at right) made by one of their local members.


We started to gather around to get a photo and Leslie said, “Would you like me to take the picture?”  Now that’s not a big surprise, employees at hotels and restaurants have become accustomed to taking photos of the many people going through their venues. But here was the unusual part; she then said to everyone – “Okay, everybody give me all your cameras–I’ll take a photo with each of them.” She then dutifully accepted each camera and phone and, one by one, took many photographs making sure that everyone got their own picture.

While I was watching all of this, it struck me that she not only didn’t act “put-out” by having one camera after another given to her – she happily took each picture patiently and professionally, and smiled and chatted while she took each and every photo as though she were taking photos of her own family. I couldn’t help but think that there was some supervisor downstairs wondering what was taking her so long. The truth is, she was giving the guests at her hotel a very nice experience.

It made me start to think about each trip that Leslie made to the room. She was courteous, friendly, helpful, and attentive. I was so wrapped up in “the business of a running a conference” that I didn’t really notice just how good she really was until things started winding down for me.

So, for the record – to Leslie’s supervisor at the Omni Hotel in Nashville: Please know that Leslie was working diligently at creating a great guest experience. So much so, that I told the hotel manager that Leslie should be teaching customer service training – she’s that good. Thank you, Leslie – your stellar service was well noted (it may have taken me a few days – but I noticed).

I highly recommend that you stay in this hotel if you are heading to Nashville. Here is a link to the Omni Nashville:

If you’ve had a terrific customer service experience in the past, I’d love for you to share it in the comment forum below because I’m very interested in hearing about it–I’m particularly interested in your thoughts on what it was specifically that made your experience great.

P.S.–Many of you know that I radically altered my diet and, because of that, my wife Beth and I work closely with the hotel chefs when we travel. Well, Chef Harker from the Omni was also incredible (much like Leslie)–he’s one of the best chefs I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with during my travels.  Thank you, Chef Harker!

8 thoughts on “May I Take Your Photo?–A Lesson in Great Customer Service

  1. I recently had an excellent customer service experience at my local grocery store – one of the places I least expect that to happen! The young man who rung up my groceries was so polite and positive, and I told him it was refreshing to see a store employee with such a great attitude. He said, “Why shouldn’t I be in a good mood? There’s no place I’d rather be. I like the people I work with and the customers I get to meet. I’m making money. And I can feel the spring breeze coming in the doors from my register.” He was absolutely sincere about it. I told him that with that attitude, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t be a cashier for long, because he was likely to get promoted. I email the company and told them about my great experience and suggested they give that young man a raise!

  2. Being in the picture, I did notice how she was very patient but still knew the importance of not taking up too much time. If she thought the picture did not make well, she quickly said one more and moved to the next. We can learn a lot from someone like Leslie.

  3. I had an appointment with my sister to have breakfast. Due to a miscommunication, I went to the wrong coffee shop where I ordered wanton noodle. When I realized my sister was at another shop, I asked the wanton vendor to make mine to go. I asked him to include a pair of chopsticks so that I could eat the noodles where my sister was waiting.

    When I got to my where my sister was with my packet of noodles, I had hardly sat down when a foreign worker there brought me a clean, empty bowl, a pair of chopsticks and a spoon so that I could eat my noodles. All without even being asked ! Now that’s great customer service.

  4. While I was inor the director training, I stayed at another hotel that was undergoing a remodel. The rooms were finished, but the main entry was beams and boards. Having the great idea of packing ultra light, I assumed the hotel would have shampoo and conditioner and thus left mine home. I went downstairs to ask the desk attendant if she had any. The hotel coincidentally happened to be out of conditioner, which can be earth shattering for a girl with frizzy hair in Tennessee! It was raining, well after dark, and the closest store was about half a mile away by the crow if I happened to find one that was open. The attendant apologized, citing a big change over, then offered her own car so I could go get whatever I needed at the store! I was blown away by her hospitality!

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