Several years ago, I was invited to speak at a Conference in Ottawa. When I arrived, I checked into the downtown Courtyard Marriott, and when I gave my name at the front desk the staff member said, “We were expecting you Mr. Koehler, We are glad you are here”. I WAS IMPRESSED! By the way, she said it as though she really meant it. In other words, it wasn’t one of those “plastic greetings”.
The morning of my presentation, I went to the front desk before heading to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. The person at the front desk, didn’t have a name badge, so it is my practice to always ask a person who does not have a name badge, their name. Her name was Jennifer. So, I asked Jennifer if it was possible for her to go on line and get my boarding pass for my flight home.
She said that she wasn’t too sure if she could do that, but she would certainly look into it for me. I then told her I would be in the restaurant and would check with her after my breakfast. About 5 minutes later, Jennifer came into the restaurant and said that she needed to know how many bags I would be checking in at the airport. I told her and she politely thanked me. Ten minutes later, she returned to the restaurant and handed me my boarding pass. I WAS IMPRESSED–again!
When I was finished my breakfast, I went to the front desk to thank Jennifer. I didn’t see her at the front desk, so I asked the woman there if I could speak to Jennifer. She paused for a moment and then explained that they didn’t have a Jennifer that worked at the front desk, but they did have a security guard by that name and she was just going off shift. NOW, I WAS REALLY IMPRESSED!
At that very moment I saw Jennifer coming off the elevator and so I went over to her and I gave her one of my “AMAZING” pins. I told her that I didn’t know that she did not work at the front desk, and yet she didn’t give me a “That’s not my job” comment.
She just came to the cause and went above and beyond what most people would do.
When I handed her the pin with my explanation of why she deserved it, she was really taken aback and said to me, “Nobody has ever done anything like this for me before. You could just see the delight and amazement in her eyes as to how meaningful this simple gesture was to her.
Her story is such a great example of what true “Excellence in Service” is all about.
I believe that the greatest contribution that people make in their organizations, of any kind, are not things that are in their job description, but rather the gestures that come from their heart.
If you have ever heard me speak before, you will have heard me say,
“It isn’t WHAT you do but HOW you do it that MATTERS MOST. Jennifer is a classic example of the HOW of which I speak.
In my workshops on “Delivering Extraordinary Service”, my message to staff is simple–“Be Pleasant, Be Present, Make their Day!
So, GO AHEAD, “Make someone’s day”!
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