Customer Service: Do you know why I’m here?

Customer Service: Do you know why I’m here?Most hotels today provide some type of breakfast that helps its guests get nourished quickly and on the road.  On a recent trip to Alabama, I stayed at a Hampton Inn.  I’ve stayed here several times and have always enjoyed observing one of the breakfast servers.  On this visit, I decided to talk to her.  If your organization sells ANYTHING, you need to learn from this woman.

Meet Mona.  One thing is certain with her.  You will never have to introduce yourself to her. She’ll beat you to it.  She saw me as soon as I entered the breakfast area and made her way to me as soon as I sat down and said good morning.  The Lesson: Your customers should never have to speak first.  Make them feel welcome and make the first move.

After Mona said hello she asked if I had ever stayed at the hotel.  When I said yes she responded, “That’s wonderful. Let me tell you why I’m here.  My job is help you get your day started. Enjoy your breakfast. And if there is anything at all you need, see me and I’ll take care of it.” With every word, she smiled, looked me directly in the eye and spoke with confidence.  I thanked her and went about my breakfast.

As I sipped my coffee, I watched her interact with other guests in the lobby. Mona was the real deal.  She exhibited the same warm welcome and offer to each guest she met.   The Lesson: Mona ensured I knew she was there for me and the way in which she told me communicated her belief in her role.  It wasn’t a script for her.

I spoke with Mona before I left that morning.  I learned she has been employed with Hampton Inn for 23 years, nine of those years at this particular location. She spoke with such pride about her service.  And before we said goodbye she asked me such a great question, “You are planning on visiting us again, right?” To which I said, “Absolutely.”  And I will.  The Lesson:  An employee who believes in his/her company and service will naturally encourage customers for repeat visits. Their goal is sincere.  They want your business because they believe in what they do.

Three lessons learned during a 15-minute breakfast at a hotel.   I’m curious.  If a customer spent 15 minutes with your team, could they share a similar story? Do you have employees like Mona on your team? If not, I’m betting your competition does.

7 Responses to “ Customer Service: Do you know why I’m here? ”

  1. August 8, 2013

    Kayla, great story. When I encounter these types of people, it goes beyond “warm and fuzzy” because we see a person who loves their job and loves helping people. We witness so much poor customer service that when we get service like Mona gives, we feel good. We want to see her again. From your story, I’d bet Mona would do well at the finest of hotels. Hampton Inn is very fortunate to have her.

  2. August 8, 2013

    Kayla, I love this. It makes such good points, especially greet your customers first (beat them to it) and second let them know why you are there to help them.

    • August 9, 2013

      Thanks for your comment Ivie. Mona is amazing and what a treat to meet her. She embodies those skills that really make companies stand out.

  3. August 9, 2013

    Kayla, this is a great blog post. I hope you write a letter to the head of the hotel chain and the franchise owner of that particular hotel commending Mona. Too often they receive negative letters and it’s always nice to offset those with a positive one. They’ve always said it’s easier to sell something to a salesperson. I think we can take that one step further. Those of us in the customer service arena always notice it when someone is extraordinary with their customer service skills. I’ve always said that you can’t teach good customer service. It comes from the heart. Clearly Mona is quite an example of this. STEW

  4. August 11, 2013

    Thanks for your comment Stew. I couldn’t agree more. And yes, I did share Mona’s story with the hotel’s GM. He went above and beyond to recognize her within the hotel as well as Hampton senior leadership. In fact, his actions were so kind, a follow up blog is on the way – like a “part 2”. Thanks!

  5. Dan Aronoff
    August 11, 2013

    Wonderful story. It’s so rare that I ever see this! As a matter of fact, my standards have become so low that nowadays if a business merely meets my expectations from a satisfactory standpoint, I consider it excellent customer service. Mona is a gem but so many more people could be just like her!!!

  6. August 12, 2013

    Thanks for your comment Dan. You are right. Great service has become the exception. Sad but true. I think that’s why it’s even more important to highlight the good ones!

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