I had an experience at the 2014 BNI® U.S. National Conference that reminded me of how important it is to take time to notice really good customer service.
During that conference, the hotel’s room service would deliver my meals to my suite. Very often the delivery was right as a meeting in my suite was finishing up. Leslie was the hotel employee who made most of the deliveries during the last part of my stay. On one of the days, I had a group of ten BNI Directors in my suite who were kind enough to give me a Givers Gain® plaque made by one of their local members.
As a group, we started to gather around to get a photo and Leslie said, “Would you like me to take the picture?” That’s rather common; employees at hotels and restaurants have become accustomed to taking photos of the many people going through their establishments. However, Leslie 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 took many photographs, one by one, making sure that everybody got their own picture.
As I watched this, it struck me that she didn’t act annoyed or irritated by having one camera after another given to her; she happily took the pictures very patiently and professionally. She smiled and chatted with us while she took each photo as though she were taking photos of her own family. I couldn’t help but think that there was a supervisor downstairs wondering what was taking her so long. The truth is, she was giving the guests at her hotel a very nice and memorable experience.
It got me thinking about each trip that Leslie had made to the room during the week. She was courteous, friendly, helpful, and attentive. I was so wrapped up in the business of a running the conference that I hadn’t really noticed just how good she was until the end of the event when things started winding down for me.
While doing her job, Leslie worked diligently to create great guest experiences. So much so, that I later told the hotel manager that she should be teaching customer service training – she was that good.
I’ve traveled a lot in my years as the Founder of BNI and I certainly do appreciate great customer service. I believe in the importance and the power of recognition. I do like to thank people in person, in the moment during the situation or the event where they were so helpful. And I also have a way to fully share my appreciation after the fact when I receive a survey from a hotel or cruise line. When someone provides outstanding service or goes above and beyond to help me, I ask them, “May I take your picture?” That way, I’ll remember their face, see their name tag to spell their name properly, and easily recall the day, place, and circumstances of how and why they were so helpful, giving them the well-deserved recognition.
Have you had a terrific customer service experience in the past? I’d love for you to share it in the comment section. What specifically was it that made your experience great?