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How Sweet Is Our Customer Experience?

By Joey Havens

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I’m working in Nashville and we have just completed a long day including travel and enjoyed a nice dinner. After getting to the hotel, I can’t but help notice there’s a Dairy Queen right across the street. Now ice cream is a big weakness for me, blizzards are especially tempting and when I am out of town, they are downright justified.

Before my room door can shut, I’m banging the elevator button and headed down for a quick stroll over to a little sinful delight. (CeCe does not approve of my late-night snacks, especially ice cream.)
Grabbing the door at the Dairy Queen, it rattles and is obviously locked. What? The lights are on. I see some people mingling in the back. I rattle the door again, a little louder as I’m reading the store hours. Close: 9 p.m. Oh no, my phone says 9:07. Can you believe this?

Looking up from my phone, a gentleman has come to the door. I guess my second break-in attempt was heard in the back. He cracks the door and says, “We close at 9.”

Oh man, I love a late-night blizzard.

Well, we can’t do any hot food but if you want to come in for ice cream we can do that.


And now I’m headed back to my room with an extra large blizzard! It’s not like I can’t go back for seconds plus CeCe is at home so I’m all in. Guess who else was all in? The manager of the Dairy Queen. It’s the end of the day, people are tired, equipment has to be cleaned and the list goes on. He had so many good reasons not to serve me including that it was past closing time. But he cared enough to see if he could meet my “needs.”

His actions demonstrated how much he cared about customer service. Guess who else was smiling. The two team members who each received a very nice tip with a big thank you for making my night special. It turned out to be an expensive blizzard then again, it was a bargain.

When we are generous as they were with their time, when we show we care for others, when we are kind, when we elevate others, it always brings joy to us and it always pays off in the long run. Thanks to the DQ crew in Nashville for demonstrating a WOW customer service experience.

CeCe, sometimes when I miss you, I need a little ice cream to hold me over.

Coming in 2023, my new book Leading with Significance breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and demonstrates, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring and magnetic. Sign up today for updates at 

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