Arriving at 6:00 a.m. from my overseas flight, I was informed I needed to check back at 10:00 to see if a room was available for early check in. Or I could pay for an additional night’s stay. I choose to cool my heels until 10, and asked where I could change clothes. Expecting to be directed toward the ladies room, I was pleased to be told I could take a shower, use the workout facilities and change clothes in the gym. After stowing my luggage, I set out for the gym.
Stuffing my purse in a locker, I locked it with a self-determined combination, then took a shower. There was only one other woman in the locker room at this early hour. When I came out, I couldn’t get in my locker — the code I used didn’t work. I asked if she knew where there was a nearby house phone so I could get someone to open it. She said, “I’ll take care of it.” She pulled out her cell phone and called Security. Within minutes, a man arrived with the master key.
While we waited for Security to arrive, she introduced herself as Margaret Tan, Executive Housekeeper. It’s nice to have friends in high places! I asked where I could get wifi in the hotel while I waited for 10:00 to see if a room opened up. She said, “I’ll take care of that.” She called the Front Desk to arrange a very early check in for me — at no extra charge!
When I later arrived back in my room after doing an errand, there was a small fruit basket and floral arrangement with a nice note from Margaret welcoming me to the hotel. To show my appreciation, I autographed a copy of Calming Upset Customers and sent it to her with a bellman. Later I learned she was so excited, she immediately took it to the General Manager to show him.
On my errand, I bought a gift for a local friend and some wrapping paper. Realizing I had neither tape nor scissors, I stopped at the Concierge desk and asked if I might borrow both to wrap my gift. Tony, the concierge, nearly insisted that I leave it with him for wrapping. I declined as I knew it would just take a few minutes. We chatted as he helped me. He invited me to come to the Club level for a glass of wine during happy hour, even though I was not staying on the Club level.
Outside my seminar room the next day, the Amara training manager bought two copies of Calming Upset Customers and one of Professional Selling. He left his card, so I called him to tell him I’d be happy to autograph them to him. When I was on a break, we met to discuss how I might help them be even better. He asked if I’d meet with the General Manager. Of course!
Suddenly, every staff member seemed to know my name, from bellmen, concierge, front desk, and banquet staff. Many of them introduced themselves after calling me by name and then gave me their card.
The General Manager and I discussed how I might help them improve their performance. During our hour meeting we explored various possibilities.
I know you’re asking, would the staff had been so outstanding if Margaret and I hadn’t started out so well? I’d stayed at the Amara previously and the staff was great. But I think being a minor celebrity helped bring out the very best in them. So if you go to the Amara, try telling them you’re my friend and see what happens!
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