Here’s one of the best examples of how to create customer loyalty that I have ever seen. It happened while I was working at the Hilton Newark Airport Hotel in 2003.
We had a fantastic staff, happy employees and a robust business. One day there was a buzz that traveled all around the hotel. “Did you hear what happened?” “You’re kidding, I don’t believe it.” “When did that happen?” “He really did THAT?”
We had a great front desk employee, Alberto. Always smiling, he knew the hotel like the back of his hand and the guests loved him. A model employee.
One Sunday evening, a guest checked in and, after emptying his luggage, realized that he had forgotten his suit. That’s bad enough, but the story gets worse. The next day, Monday, he had a job interview scheduled at 10am. He quickly began to panic, knowing he would never be able to go to the interview without a suit on. He was confident he would miss his chance at this job, the job he flew 1000 miles for. He called down to the desk hoping to find out if there was a late night department store in the area where he could purchase a suit, ANY suit.
Realizing the dire circumstance of this guest, Alberto sprang into action. Being of similar size and build of the guest, Alberto offered to provide one of his suits to him to use for the important day. He would leave the hotel at the end of his shift at 10pm, rush home and return around 11pm with suit in hand. The guest thought this was too good to be true and happily agreed to this solution, thought he was a little skeptical. So he waited…
At 10:50pm Alberto knocks on the guests’ door, suit in hand. The guests’ eyes lit-up like a kid in a candy store; he didn’t believe it!
Monday came and went; the guest had his interview and returned to the hotel, tired but utterly thankful for the exceptionally kind actions of Alberto. A week passes, then we heard the news…the guest got the job! Hooray for him, and hooray for Alberto.
Needless to say, a great letter to the General Manager came next. The guest gushed about how he never met someone more caring and giving of himself and attributed his success in getting the job to Alberto. Talk about creating customer loyalty, Alberto had just created an extremely loyal customer and left him with a memory he will never forget.
Two weeks later Alberto got more great news, he was promoted to Assistant Front Desk Manager!
Isn’t it amazing how one single good deed can lead to so much good?
One last thought…can you ever see yourself giving someone the suit off your back?