How a Cookie Created a WOW Customer Experience

Have you been there? You finish a delicious meal, are satisfied and even “full” and the server entices you with dessert. That happened to me recently, and I must tell you, the way the experience unfolded created a WOW customer experience moment.

Meet Mandi. She’s works at Blue, one of Marriott’s dine-in offerings at its Savannah, Georgia hotel. It had been a long day of travel for me. I checked in to the hotel around 7:30 pm and just wanted to grab a quick bite before ending my day (picture it…I’m tired). 

I finished dinner – the shrimp & grits were great – and as typically happens, my server Mandi asked me if I was interested in dessert.  I casually asked if they had a cookie.  I just wanted a small taste of something sweet to complete the meal (and be my treat for the long day on the road).

IMG_8806And then this happened.  Mandi said, “I’ll be right back.”  She returned about 5 minutes later with get this…not just a cookie but a cookie assortment.  I was stunned and told her to please add the cookies to my bill.  Then it got even better.  Mandi replied, “Absolutely not.  Those are complementary.  You’ve had a long day. Enjoy them on us.”  I thanked her and she simply said, “That’s my job.  I’m here to give you a great experience.”

Now THAT’S service that created a remarkable customer experience. Mandi demonstrated several “extra” skills that made me want to share this story.

She was observant.
Throughout my meal Mandi interacted with me and in those conversations she learned I was in town for a conference and had just arrived to the hotel.  She also noticed my tired face.  Part of her job was to allow me privacy to enjoy my meal ; but she also recognized my emotional and physical state…and that is what she responded to.

She was resourceful.
Blue’s kitchen didn’t have any cookies.  Mandi went to the concierge desk in the hotel lobby and requested them.  She knew the banquet area used those cookies for in-house meetings and suspected there were extras from the day.  In all fairness, the easy answer would have been for her to say no to my cookie request.  But she took that extra step.

She was focused.
Sure, Mandi’s job was to serve my meal and provide customer service.  That is expected.  However, she was focused on taking care of me and taking that extra step to give me a great experience.  Those moments don’t happen by accident; they must be intentional.  And Mandi’s focus on that role is what took my dinner from a meal to an experience I wanted to tell others about.

Mandi is a wonderful asset for Blue and Marriott.  So I’m wondering, how many “Mandi’s” does your business have?  How do you know?  Your customers are talking about them.

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