As I walked downstairs for breakfast, I was in a highly energized state of mind. I had finished up in the gym and prepped for my keynote address at a major conference, and I was stoked. The conference was being hosted at a luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, and so far, everything had been perfect.
As I walked into the restaurant, I was immediately impressed with the ambience and decor. The hostess welcomed me and promptly walked me to a table with a peaceful view overlooking the pool. The table was set with fine white china rimmed with gold-leaf and crystal glassware. The table featured a beautiful centerpiece of fresh-cut flowers that complimented the statement of luxury. My expectations were definitely being exceeded at every turn at the Four Seasons.
“Creating a magical experience for your guest is a great way to build a value proposition that impacts the customer.” – Paul Cummings
Then I met Olivia, who would be my server for the morning breakfast experience. Her radiating smile and engaging personality would make any guest feel special. Olivia presented the menu and explained the morning specials in a casually confident manner. She asked me a few questions about my stay at the hotel and even complimented my suit. To say I was impressed with her engagement approach would be an understatement. Someone had obviously done a world-class job of training the great team at the Four Seasons.
“Treat your internal customers well, and they will extend that treatment to your honored guests.” – Paul Cummings
I casually looked at the menu and ordered my usual: 2 eggs over easy, crispy bacon, wheat toast, and fruit. Orange juice, still water, and a large latte would be the beverages of choice. Olivia smiled and repeated the order back to me flawlessly. The service I received during my meal was the perfect blend of efficiency and engagement. What a wonderful way to begin my day! The meal was perfectly prepared, and the atmosphere was even better. Soft jazz played in the background, and for someone who travels as much as I do, a great experience never gets old.
“Creating a world-class service experience is a planned event that is directly tied to your people and your process.” – Paul Cummings
Olivia and I engaged in some small talk, and I asked for the final bill. She quickly returned the check to my table. When I opened the bill, I must admit I was surprised at the amount: $73.19 for breakfast certainly makes a Tennessee Waffle House breakfast look like a bargain. However, I was not upset in the least. As I reviewed the itemized charges, I noticed the eggs were $24.00. I laughingly asked Olivia, “Can I meet the chef?” With a look of concern, she asked, “Is there something wrong?”
I assured her everything had been perfect but was just hoping the chef could introduce me to the chicken. She replied, “The chicken? I don’t understand.” I said, “Well, in Tennessee our chickens lay .59 cent eggs, and I just wanted to meet the chicken laying $12.00 eggs.” She laughed and said, “Oh, we have the same kind of chickens. You’re not paying $12.00 for the eggs, Mr. Cummings, it’s for the overall experience and environment. Our commitment is to provide you with service and quality you can’t get anywhere else. How did we do?”
“The value of customer-centric communication skills are immeasurable to any organization. When the words and the delivery are authentic and genuine, the effect is powerful. “ – Paul Cummings
Olivia and I shared a great laugh, and I thanked her for making my morning brighter. She was a rock star, and her service and attitude exuded an effortless joy in serving others. Yes, I tipped Olivia like I was angry at my cash, and would do it again. Value is driven up by legendary customer care delivered by people with a servant’s heart.
Although I have to admit, as I walked out the door, I still wanted to meet that chicken.
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