A few of y’all know that in a previous life, I was a Customer Satisfaction Specialist for a world-renowned Fortune 100 Company.
What does this mean, exactly? Well, for the particular company that I worked for, our “customers” were actually employees; hence, we were measuring their satisfaction with the internal services we had in place, such as employee benefits, pension, payroll, accounts payable, etc.
Are you yawning yet? Sorry, stay with me.
So, I helped develop surveys and statistical benchmarks, and was responsible for deploying, collecting and interpreting data. Then, I helped develop training plans to increase satisfaction wherever our scores were low. Finally, I trained those employees and re-surveyed their “customers”, to ensure our training efforts made an impact on the overall satisfaction score.
And then I became a blogger. Natural career path, right?
Okay, so I took the roundabout way of completely reinventing myself. However, the reason that I tortured you with the details of my corporate past was to underscore one point:
I know what good customer service is.
I know what it takes to delight your audience, whether it be customers at a fast food joint, clients of a law firm, parents of a school child, or even a passenger on public transit. Because when it comes down to it, the one thing that sets a business apart – in terms of service – is the ability to consistently, positively and creatively surprise its customers. Oooh – that calls for a bolded statement:
The Service-Oriented Business: consistently, positively and creatively surprises customers.
Of course, without a real-life example, this would just be another training session in a stuffy boardroom. Ta-da! I just happen to have a recent experience I can draw from. Now pay attention food and entertainment brands, because this is how it’s done.
A little backgrounder info. Months ago, I fell into conversation with Milestones on Twitter (@MilestonesCA), letting them know that my husband and I met for the very first time at a Milestones – in fact, it was a blind date!
Er – 2006 is a typo – our first date was actually in 2005. Which my husband totally caught, and totally made me miserable over. He now has a free pass to forget a birthday or anniversary. Not that he ever will; but according to him, it’s the principle of the matter. You’ll see below I redeemed myself with the date… but the damage was done. Men.
Anyhoo, we’ve had a little tradition ever since that fateful day back in October
2006 2005. Every year, we return to that very same Milestones location and reminisce about our first blind date. In 2006, the first year back, we chatted about our upcoming wedding, as we were already engaged. In 2007, I ordered bland, carb-heavy foods, as I was battling (all-day) morning sickness from my pregnancy with Ryder. And in 2008, it was one of our very best date nights as we left Ryder with my mom and toasted a baby-free evening. And so on, and so forth.
This year, as part of my partnership with Transat Holidays, I was presented with the opportunity to vacation with my family in the Mayan Riviera, Mexico… from October 18th to 25th. Which meant that we’d be missing our annual Milestones dinner, but hey… beers in Mexico. You gotta do what you gotta do. And, we assured ourselves we’d simply take a raincheck and have the mini celebration some time in November.
And then, Milestones showed me exactly why they’re INCREDIBLE at creating an unforgettable customer experience. On the morning of the 19th, as I grabbed my phone from my bed in Mexico, the following tweet was waiting for me:
Whoa…. two words. MIND BLOWN. Until then, my husband and I were the only ones who kept our little tradition alive, and truly didn’t expect anything, or anyone, to acknowledge the date. But here is a brand that understands the importance of love, relationship, commitment, food, family… and how it all comes together in a hodge-podge that we call everyday life. And how they’re a part of our lives, a part of #ourstory, and that makes them more than just a restaurant where we satisfy our craving for hot artichoke dip. It makes them family.
Well, Milestones, you’ve done something that this former Customer Satisfaction Specialist only dreams about: you’ve consistently, positively and creatively surprised me. And to that, I raise my glass to you. And in that glass is your Original Bellini.
Also, the Disney Planes and Kinder Eggs for the boys? Like, the best prezzies ever. They’re obsessed with both. Which means that now that November is here, we’ll need to come visit you at the Queensway location, and celebrate nine years of love.
Thank you, Milestones.