Last week I stayed at a Hampton Inn and Suites. One of their perks is “cookie hour” whereby they have fresh baked cookies in the lobby from 8-9pm. It doesn’t get much better than than walking in from a long snowy day of traveling and finding yourself a fresh baked cookie.
On my last night I returned to the hotel at 10pm. One hour after cookie time. Only crumbs remained. I joked with the woman working the front desk that “The other guests didn’t even leave me a raison cookie.” Elizabeth asked what kind of cookie I was hoping for. I said chocolate chip.
“No problem. I’ll go whip some up and give you a call when they’re ready.”
Shocked, I went back to my room and started to pack up for an early flight. I was almost finished packing when I realized no one had called yet. I couldn’t be mad… “why would they make cookies after 9pm?”
Then I answered a knock on the door to find the woman from the front desk with two warm cookies and a glass of milk.
This wasn’t just one good employee hellbent on customer service. During the week:
- Someone working on the free breakfast saw me searching for something. I asked if they had a microwave so I could warm up some leftovers. She brought me back to the kitchen, gave me a tour, and warmed up my corn bread.
- I left an email printed out in the business center. They looked up my room number and delivered it. It would have been much easier to have tossed it.
- The pool was supposed to close at 10pm. I got in one night at 9:50. I would have been happy with 10 minutes, but at 10pm someone came by and told me “The door will lock from the outside, but stay as long as you like. Just don’t start a party in here.”
People don’t brag about the level of service that’s written in your company policy. That’s the baseline. They brag about the unexpected. They brag about the tiny moments of joy you create for them. They brag about warm cookies and milk.