It’s rare in today’s society to have a customer service experience that makes you say, “WOW!” You know, the kind that makes you want to blog about them. Tell your friends. Create a slide in your next presentation. Light a few candles and build a shrine?

Here are my WOW customer service experience hall of fame inductees (in no particular order).

1. Genoa restaurant in Portland, Oregon. This is a very small intimate expensive seven course Northern Italian experience. I went there with a dear friend and foodie. We loved it. So much we lingered. I think a bit too long. So rather than use body language to tell us to move on they simply and elegantly said, “Would you ladies like to continue your conversation in our private parlor with a complimentary glass of port?” Who wouldn’t? And it was just that. A beautifully appointed room in the back of the restaurant for hangers-on. An exquisite way to “turn a table.”

2. In-N-Out Burger. On the extreme opposite end of the culinary perspective. I was urged by a client to “experience” this fast food first hand before flying out to my next gig. (note: they are only in the Southwest). I ordered my surprisingly affordable cheeseburger from the speaker at the menu board and was asked the most amazing question. “Will you be eating that burger in the car?” Wow. I’m in a car. And I’ve just ordered food. Chances are pretty good I’ll eat it in here. “Yes,” I replied. And when I drove forward, they presented me my gorgeous, fresh delicious $1.80 cheeseburger in a cardboard tray with the wrapper already peeled back so I could easily eat it while I drove. Brilliant.

3. Amelia Island, Florida Ritz Carlton. To be fair, their culture has won awards, received numerous mentions in the greatest of books and probably already has shrines built to it. I mean Ritz Carlton’s are great. But I guess you have to appreciate that great doesn’t JUST HAPPEN!!! Someone has to say, “HEY, let’s be great.” And then the staff says, “OKAY!” and actually does it. I was a speaker there last week. It was a good sized hotel and as I was dragging my wheely briefcase to the conference section of the place a very pleasant looking woman in a hotel uniform was just standing there smiling. Right next to the list of meetings and room names. You guessed it, her sole purpose was to guide people to the proper rooms. Subtle. Service. Wow.

Please feel free to add your own.

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