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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Spirit of Customer (Client) Service

Written by Ken Bansemer
Senior Director, National Recruiting & Talent Management
Charlotte, NC
I was recently on an out-of-town business trip, and during my hotel stay, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the executive lounge for a complimentary breakfast.  The hostess there quickly engaged me in conversation, asking questions such as:  How long are you staying here?  Have you been here before? Are you returning anytime soon?  And, perhaps most importantly, what is your name?  I answered each of these politely – I’ll be here through tomorrow…It’s been a few years since my last visit….In fact, I will be back next week due to another trip…My name is Ken.
The hostess then proceeded to ask if I wanted any coffee, and how I would take it, and brought it over to a table I was sitting at.  Now keep in mind that this was not a restaurant, it is primarily a self-serve continental breakfast.  But it was clear that her role was to make the hotel customers (her clients) as comfortable as possible, and to provide a level of outstanding service.
So imagine my surprise, when I returned the next morning when she greeted me upon my arrival by quickly referencing her notes in a spiral bound notebook (apparently made that previous morning), and saying “Good morning Ken.  Would you like some coffee this morning – with cream only?”  I felt very special and thought that this was going above and beyond the level of service that I have traditionally seen at other hotels.  I wasn’t expecting it.
The following Monday, I returned – and the same thing happened again.  Coincidence?  Or was there a note about me returning?  With the number of people that come through that door each day, each week, each month, I don’t expect to be remembered on my next trip – which could be another year out.  However, I will remember the level of service I received.
What does this have to do with McGladrey? 
EVERYTHING! This is the level of service that our clients expect from McGladrey.  They expect McGladrey to understand their business.  They expect us to ask relevant questions to learn more about them, so we can provide better client service.  And they expect us to use this information to anticipate their needs.  In short, they expect to be treated as if they are the only client McGladrey has.
And we deliver on that promise.  That is an example of the Power of Being Understood.
If you ever are staying in Minneapolis, I would recommend you stay at the Marquette Hotel .  Stop by the 19th floor, and tell the hostess that I said hello.  I bet she will treat you like you are the only client she has.

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