Recently, CeCe and our daughter Haley traveled to Seattle with me for the AICPA Women’s Initiative Executive Committee meeting. We went a couple of days early so we could hike and enjoy some of the beautiful surrounding mountains and lakes.
Our first morning, we were headed out to Tiger Mountain Trailhead for a hike. We got a little later start than I had planned (I think we were closer to CeCe’s plan), so Haley began to Google some spots for a quick brunch. We came across a place right on our way called Eggs & Us where we stopped and had an amazing meal with great service. We loved it. But we did not realize how special it was until the next morning. We were traveling further away from Seattle on our second day of hiking and we got CeCe off to an earlier start (relatively speaking). As we got close to the exit where Eggs & Us was, we all chimed in, “Let’s do brunch at Eggs & Us first!” A quick right turn and a ¼ of a mile later, we were back for another delicious brunch.
This is where Eggs & Us turned into an experience—a WOW experience. We were greeted and seated by the same waiter, Italo, that we had the day before. As he greeted us, he immediately smiled and said, “You’re back from yesterday! Great! We want you to enjoy our food and service.”
We laughed, a little stunned that he had noticed us as returning customers because this place was packed the day before and even busier today. But great food tends to attract people. As Italo seated us, he said: “Would you like to have your orders from yesterday?” We looked at each other, said “No,” but I couldn’t resist. “Italo, are you telling me that you can tell us what we ordered yesterday with all of CeCe’s changes?” (CeCe has been known to make even the best waiter grab their pen.)
“Sure I can!” Well, I had to wade even deeper as most of you know, I love a challenge. “I tell you what, Italo. If you can tell us exactly what we ordered yesterday, I’ll throw an extra $20 on your tip.” This was when WOW began.
He looked at Haley. “You had the California Omelet, no tomatoes, add mushrooms. Sides of hashbrowns and fruit with coffee.” He quickly looked at me and said, “You had the Physique, egg whites with hashbrowns, sourdough toast and unsweet tea to drink.”
Then, he looked at CeCe, smiled and paused a moment, “You had the California, keep tomatoes, add mushrooms, coffee. Then no onions with hashbrowns and gluten-free toast, which we don’t serve, so you changed sides to fruit and hashbrowns, and make that unsweet tea instead of coffee.”
We simply smiled and said, “BRAVO!!!” CeCe then went into her new order which also had a few changes but he never wrote anything down and delivered our food just as requested.
Good food, good service, good location, all make for a good experience. It’s the small things—the recognition, the caring, the distinctive service that turns good service into a WOW experience. Little things that build trust and allow us to open ourselves up to enjoy the moment in a special way.
How often are we serving up a WOW experience to our customers and clients? How well do we know them and their needs and preferences? How do we demonstrate we care by doing more than is required? What is distinctive about the way we serve them? How are we making every interaction great like Italo did with his big welcoming smile?
As we continue to see all competitors empowered to provide information, technology and services, we are going to have egg on our face if we are not distinctive in our client experience. I’m sorry, what did you want on those eggs?