This past weekend my wife and I traveled to Youngstown, Ohio to see our son compete in the national championship for track and field (They won the championship by the way. Shout to the team on a job well done!)
This event was a two day conference. So, we needed overnight lodging. We have stayed at the Hampton Inn – Youngstown West before. I guess I just never noticed what I am about to tell you before. I was eating breakfast, the Hampton always has the complementary breakfast ( I love the those mini cinnamon rolls with the icing on top. I could eat the whole box… Ok, enough of that… I do love them though!)
Anyway, I was sitting there eating and watching a movie on my tablet. This lady, very gently placed her hand on my shoulder and asked me if everything was ok (I removed my earbud so I could hear of course) and I said yes everything was good. Just the mere fact she took the time to do that was a plus in my book.
After I finished my eggs and sausage (and the mini cinnamon rolls!) I wanted a waffle. There were a number of people in the area (there was another big event going on too). I saw where there was an open waffle maker. When I got to it there was a sign saying it was out of order and the other waffle maker already had a waffle being made. I kind of mumbled, “Oh that one is being used”. That same lady said to me, “yes I am down to only one.” I said, “that’s ok” and went back to my seat. I was just thinking that I would just go back up there when it was not so busy and get a waffle. I went back to watching my movie.
An amazing thing happened. This same lady came to me a few minutes later , did that same gentle tap/touch on my shoulder and said, “The waffle maker is ready, would you like to have a waffle now?” I said , “Yes”. I was getting ready to get up to make one and before I could do that she said, “I’ll get it for you.” Wow! I thought, this has not happened to me before in a place like this. I waited and the waffle was delivered. Hot and golden and very good.
doesn’t that waffle look amazing!
I wanted to know who this person was. So, I asked the manager. She told me her name. Terri Harrouff . Terri went above and way beyond the call of duty to deliver an exceptional customer experience. I was just amazed! I read an article by the great customer service guru Shep Hyken and he talks about the un-wow and removing it. The un-wow is removing something that may cause a negative or unpleasant experience for the customer before they notice or remark about it. Terri did this effortlessly. She was pleasant, attentive, focused, engaging , kind, helpful. She made me the priority when she was interacting with me. Terri did all the right things and she represents what it means to give exceptional customer service. Customer service is not just a job it’s a belief and a responsibility from the mailroom to the boardroom that everyone should focus on and be held accountable too.
“Excellent work Terri! You rock!”