The Long Reach of Amazing Customer Experience

Long reach (small)_123RFEver had such a great customer experience that you remember it years later?

I have. But it didn’t start out so well.

A few years ago, I arrived at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Washington, to spend three nights while speaking at a conference.

When I got to the room, I was surprised to find no desk or even a table.

I inquired about another room. Being told the hotel was sold out, it seemed I was out of luck.

“What a drag,” I thought. I needed a place to work and write each day before my meetings began.

But moments later, there was a knock at the door. It was a gentleman from the front desk with a room key. “Mr. Monroe, we’ve found you a room and I came to bring you the key.”

I’ve never had this happen before. At best it’s, “We have another room for you, come on down and get the key.” He also had the baggage cart and asked, “May I help you get your things to the new room?”

A little later, when I went down to check out the meeting room, there was Keith, our team member who coordinated our conferences. And there was a big green SERVICE button.

“What’s that, Keith?”

“Instead of looking for one of the staff or calling the front desk when I need something, I push the button. The staff member who is closest immediately comes to help.”

Being a fan of amazing customer service – and somewhat of a social media aficionado – I tweeted a picture of the SERVICE button (pictured).Heathman Tweet

Minutes later, one of the managers – apparently also a social media aficionado – Brian, tweeted me back and offered to meet and tell me more.

As we talked, Brian showed me “The Heathman Treaty” that every prospective employee receives and signs before submitting an application to join the Heathman team. Here’s my favorite line from the treaty:

 The ‘Whose Job Is It? story is something we will not let happen here. We added to the story, ‘It’s Everyone’s Job To Satisfy Every Customer Every Time. We will always go out of our way for the guest.

 Over the three days I was at the Heathman Lodge, I regularly quizzed the staff members about the company culture. It became clear that the amazing customer service I consistently experienced was connected to great leadership within Heathman (we’d call it servant leadership, though they did not use that term explicitly). Indeed, we find that customer experience professionals know the leadership-customer experience connection well.

So, next time you are in Vancouver, I recommend you go see servant leadership in action at the Heathman Lodge – Click here to learn more (and make reservations).

Do you have a story of such exceptional service that you still rave about it? Please share it in the comments below. We’d love to hear it.