All Aboard! for a remarkable customer experience

Steve and TedMeet Ted and Steve.  They work a few doors down from Mickey’s house at The Boathouse in Downtown Disney. Why do you need to meet them?  Because they have learned the secret to creating great customer experiences.

I visited Orlando recently and wanted a fun dining experience.  The original plan was to enjoy a progressive dinner in Downtown Disney but mother nature had other plans.  A sudden rainstorm descended on the area and didn’t want to leave.  So, our plans to taste several restaurants turned into just one and what an experience it was.

Now to appreciate this story (and the lesson it brings), you must picture the scene.  Imagine what happens to indoor restaurants when the sky opens up and rain doesn’t stop.  You guessed it – standing room only.  Guests decide to be hungry because there is no place to go.  That’s what we faced.  No available tables but open seating at the back bar.  And that’s where we met Ted and Steve.

What began was nothing short of a very memorable dinner.  Was the food good?  Yes (that is required).  But what made the night was our interactions with Ted and Steve.  And in today’s busy marketplace, every business can learn from these two.

 4 lessons from Ted & Steve

1.  They had fun.
Imagine working in an environment that caters to tourists every day.  If you don’t try to have fun; there’s a good chance you won’t.  These guys enjoyed what they did.  We watched as they made drinks for the restaurant servers.  Each order included some quips and smiles as they created each libation.  And that approach made us enjoy our meal.

2.  They had each other’s back.
These guys manned the bar which meant a great deal of give and take had to happen.  If Ted was tied up with an order, Steve was available to answer our question – and vice versa.  What was interesting is these guys have known each other for years and Steve is the reason Ted works at Boathouse.  Funny truth – we enjoy work when we are working with friends!

 3.  They knew their product.
The Boathouse had many options which made our selection process difficult.  Every question was answered with precision and wonderful descriptions of each item.  They knew the menu inside and out.  And once we finally made our selections, the guys told us, “You made some excellent choices.  And we’re here for moral support – empty stomachs or open hands!”  How great is that?  I honestly think if time (and policy) had allowed, they would pulled up a chair and joined us.

4.  They made us feel important.
The restaurant was busy that night which meant the bar service was too.  But that didn’t matter.  We felt as though we were the only customers in the restaurant.  Steve and Ted treated us as guests in their home.  Our glasses remained full and our every request was taken care of.   When we talked, all eyes were on us even though a million “to dos” were probably on their minds.  Now that’s customer experience.

If your business (or team) is in the service business, you must find ways to create an experience that is so great your customers talk about it.  That what Ted and Steve did for us.  And here’s the best part.  Those four areas of service really aren’t rocket science.  They are not part of secret formula.  Nor do they cost a dime.  And the best part, anyone can do them.

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