The other day I needed to do a presentation for a group. The subject was, “3 Keys to Becoming the Right Person”. As I prepared the address I had an idea; how about giving each of the people a hotel room key and a marker pen so they could write the three main points on the plastic key? Easy Idea. But could I get the material?
First I went to the hotel desk. My thought was that maybe those keys wear out and they would have some they were throwing away, but I needed thirty! All I could do was ask. The hotel desk people were fantastic. They cringed a little. I understood. Butthen the clerkpromptly counted out thirty keys, rubber banded them together and handed them to me.
Then, I went into their little convenience shop. They had one pen that would work, and it was $2.20 (too much!). One of the desk people who had heard about my idea brought me 30 markers from their store room and said they would sell them to me at a greatly reduced rate.
She asked how long I would be staying at the hotel .When I told her I was leaving to return to St. Louis later that day;she gave me the shuttle schedule and offered to reserve me a seat. That afternoon, I ran late and once again she came to my rescue and called me a taxi. It was no problem, she said.
Customer service? You bet! These people had learned well. They were given authority to make decisions and the responsibility to carry them out. Two lessons I learned from the experience- First, they had been given the responsibility to serve the customer, along with the authority to make decisions in the moment to make a positive difference. Next, whoever trained them did a great job preparing them to serve the customer with confidence and pride for their institution.
Professional leadership– the people were trained to be a service to the customer. Personal leadership- the service people exercised responsibility with authority. Another great Hilton experience.