Being #1 at Customer Service - People Buy From People

"Paper roses, Are making me blue, Paper roses, Remind me of you, Beautiful flowers that have no heart, Just like you, All they do is play a part," - Lola Dee, Paper Roses Do you know Lola Dee? If you served in the military in Vietnam, you might know her from her performances with Bob Hope. You might also know her from her amazing recording performances including radio and television. Or, if you travel frequently and have visited the Doubletree Oak Brook (Illinois), you most likely have met Lola.

I met Lola in 1997 during my first visit to the Hyatt Regency Oak Brook, Illinois. Lola was and still is the concierge in the Hyatt's Regency Club (now the Doubletree Oak Brook). Each night, I would leave my Ernst & Young project to return "home" to the Hyatt, eat dinner, exercise, and close out the night talking with Lola. It's another relationship that I find amazing. I am so thankful that we met and to this day, are still close friends. Another example of "it's funny how people are brought together!"

Anyway, Lola would go out of her way for guests of the Hyatt. She would schedule tours for visitors, she always took time to know the regular guests of the property, and she "connected" professionals from different companies who had similar backgrounds and interests. For many months, I had no idea that she was a singer (or used to be a singer) and it wasn't until an executive from McDonald's shared with me this fact, that I realized yet another of our connections. Lola was the reason that I spent each Monday-Thursday at the Hyatt.

13 years later, Lola is still going strong at the Doubletree as the concierge on the club floor. She has been recognized for her ability to identify customer needs and preferences, remember them over time and act on them in advance of a customer's arrival. She truly engages and serves...everyone. During a recent visit I overheard several guests talking about the fact that they brought their executive team to this property vs. another competitor property purely for the service Lola provides in the club lounge.

It's amazing what individuals can do for the success or failure of an organization or a brand. People buy from people they like - from people that care, from people that stand behind a product or service. From people that represent a brand - and are a powerful brand themselves. What are you doing in your daily life with clients, customers, partners, family and friends to be "#1 at customer service"?! Who do you see that exemplifies customer service? Do you thank them, appreciate them or recognize them? Behavior that is rewarded, is repeated.