What do you consider “above and beyond” service?

Huis ter Duin

The luxurous Huis ter Duin hotel in Noordwijk, on the Netherlands’ North Sea, is known for it’s location and its comforts. As you would guess, it also has great service.

I have had the good fortune to stay in other fine hotels around the world serving clients. I appreciate good service. But at this conference of 200 attendees, this hotel did a few things that made it stand out above many others.

For example:

* At the first luncheon, I asked the waiter if I could buy a Diet Coke. Some hotels charge the individual guests for sodas, others don’t. I was fine with paying. The banquet captain came over and said that would be included, so no charge to me. How nice. I got Diet Coke at every meal and those around me followed suit.

* Knowing I had to leave early the morning after the conference ended, I asked the captain on the last day what time breakfast was served for our group. He said “Eight o’clock.” I said, “Bummer. We have a cab coming at 7:15.” He said, “Come to this banquet room at 7:00 and I’ll take care of you.” I did, and he allowed me and my traveling companion to take any of the food we wanted from what was set up. This saved us a $30 room service charge.

* Our first night, the lights next to our beds didn’t work, so we called the front desk. The Houeskeeping Supervisor, Crescel, a tall, young man from Curaçao, came to our room and fixed them. We chatted with him as he worked, asking where he was from and laughing with him. We asked him why the hotel doesn’t put chocolate on our pillows at turndowwn and he explained they only did in the winter.

The next day, we called Housekeeping for more hangers and he fulfilled our request. We teasingly asked if he’d brought us chocolate, too, and the answer, of course, was no. We all laughed.

The third day we needed an ironing board, so he appeared and the teasing about chocolate continued.

The last day when we returned to the room, there were two half-pound boxes of chocolate with a nice note from him.

I called to thank him and he had already gone home, but his colleague said he was so excited to do this. He’d come in early and made a special trip to the local chocolatier. I asked her why he did it since he must interact with hundreds of guests each month. She said he said we were so nice. I said, “Aren’t other guests nice.” She said he thought we were very special. We made him feel special.

What do your employees consider “above and beyond” service? What can they do that will not just delight your customers, but will make your customers want to tell thousands about their thoughtfulness?