True story. I recently stayed in the Fairmont Chicago on a business trip and had an amazing experience all courtesy of Tim “The Magic Man” at the concierge desk.
My colleague had brought his kids with him for a chance to grab some family time with them after delivering his keynote and breakout sessions. We travel a lot and his family is fabulous and truly fun, so we decided to spend some time together exploring Chicago. However, as anyone with kids knows, sometimes it is the simple things that appeal most to children. In this case, they were in search of water…the pool to be exact…which the Fairmont didn’t offer.
Tim greeted us with a smile when we approached the concierge desk. Upon hearing of our quest, he assured us he could call to the neighboring Swissotel Chicago and allow us the ability to use their swimming pool without any problems. Tim then asked is there was anything he could do in addition to solving that problem. He listened (never losing his smile or complete attention to what we were saying) and answered our questions. We visited the pool that day and my colleague’s kids were ecstatic. The quest for the pool had been achieved. The kids started calling him the “Magic Man” and stopped by to say thank you on the way back through the lobby to go back upstairs.
But it didn’t end there.
Tim then had a surprise delivered to their room – a cheese and fruit tray with a personally written card thanking them for their stay and reiterating his pleasure at being able to help with their questions. The unexpected delivery was a surprise and delighted the kids – especially when they saw he signed it, “Tim – The Magic Man.”
When we ended up locked out of an attached hallway to the hotel, we called the main hotel and had to talk with two people who spent time telling us they had to check and weren’t sure about letting us in through the closed doors. We called and asked to be connected to the concierge desk. Soon Tim, our official savior for the trip, came toward us down the hallway to let us back in, smile still on his face.
Why aren’t there more people like Tim?
Tim met and exceeded our expectations over and over again. In the meantime, two other opportunities were completely lost on other staff members who were so lost in the routine of what they usually did, the common sense of how to provide exceptional service were lost on them.
I told Tim I was going to post about my awesome experience with him on Yelp. He thanked me profusely and I suddenly felt powerful. I had a way to help this person who had done such an amazing job. Certainly Yelp (and sites like it) have changed the way organizations receive feedback from customers. But more than that, Yelp has changed the way organizations should do business. With more and more people making buying decisions based on what their friends say about a business, can your organization afford not to care about exceptional service or even tracking what customers say about you online?
Here are four ways you can provide a “Magic Man”-like experience to your own clients and members:
1. Listen with a mindset of finding a solution.
Think beyond your title and job description, no matter your industry. People love to share stories of the dumb things people do in the face of common sense. For the two people we reached when trying to get past the locked glass door in the attached hallway, they had a hard time thinking, “Okay, this is a member of our Presidential Club (translation: he travel and stays with us a lot = spends money with us often) and he has two wet kids in a hallway in between hotels…we need to walk down and open the doors and keep his business!” Tim understood immediately.
Nothing kills a bad mood faster than seeing a smiling, understanding face. It is hard to overestimate how this can set the tone for all future interactions.
3. Don’t be trapped by your job description.
Maybe your job description doesn’t mention leaving your desk to walk down a hallway and let guests in…but as a business person with the bigger picture in mind, would you rather make them wait? Your job description is no excuse not to solve immediate problems within your power to change.
4. Empower employees to make decisions and problem solve for themselves.
If you are the owner or manager over employees, please do everyone a favor and lead by example and reward employees who go above and beyond their traditional roles. Exceptional service will not go unappreciated by customers for long.
There doesn’t need to be only one Tim “The Magic Man” …what would happen if there were a team of them working for your organization?
Read more about “Yelpification” in Return On Impact