December 3, 2014

Birthday Touches Bring Rave Reviews on Customer Service

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Internet blogger Shep Hyken shared a couple of great examples of strong customer service that happened to him all on the same day…


On a recent visit to New York City for his teen-age daughter’s birthday, the concierge at the W Hotel in New York City overheard Hyken talking about the momentous event, according to his blog. He says the concierge then surprised the girl with a bunch of helium balloons. The balloons, he says, were left over from an event at the hotel earlier in the day. 

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“It was a chance to ‘recycle’ the balloons for another use. It didn’t matter that they had been used earlier in the day as decoration for another party. It was the thought behind it that was important,” Hyken recalled in his blog.

That evening he took his daughter to dinner at Carmine’s restaurant. Once again, a bit of eavesdropping on the part of the staff helped make the night extra special.

“The server overheard us talking about her 
getting her drivers license. He knew it was a birthday and surprised us with a candle in our dessert, accompanied by a half dozen singing waiters, all because the server was simply paying attention to his guests,” Hyken says. That is customer loyalty from the start.

Training employees to pay attention and use all of their senses – especially the ears and eyes – will lead to great exchanges like these. And these kinds of positive experiences bring loyal customers who will share the good news with friends, family and co-workers. And in this case, Hyken’s impressions of these examples of great customer service reached thousands of readers and amounted to tens of thousands of dollars worth of free advertising for the hotel and restaurant. It really does pay to go that extra inch with small gestures that change someone’s memories forever- young or old. 

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