January 21, 2018

That moment you made me feel important


On the first morning of my stay at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago I went to the restaurant for breakfast. I was seated at a table overlooking the downtown cityscape. The Chicago River, still green from St. Patrick’s Day, was tucked between the tall buildings and bustling streets a block away.

The waiter, Ahmet was quiet, almost shy, and very efficient. Very professional. He asked about my stay in Chicago. I told him I was traveling with my wife who was there for a business conference. We planned to stay a week. He told me about some of the places I could see right within walking distance.

A few hours later I returned for lunch.

“Mr. John, you are back!” he said.

I went back for breakfast and lunch the next two days. Ahmet was my waiter each time. Each time we talked more about the event, the city, and our planned adventures. The food was wonderful and so was the ambience, but what made each meal remarkable was the interaction with Ahmet.

On the third day something happened I’ll never forget.

As he dropped off the check, he put his hand on my shoulder. “Mr. John, today is my last day to work this week,” he told me. “So I won’t see you again. Enjoy the rest of your stay.” It felt like he was saying goodbye to a dear friend. For the last time.


With my friend Ahmet

“I’ll miss you!” I blurted out. And I meant it.

Years from now I may not remember the spectacular view from the restaurant. Or how clean the rooms were. Or how nice the amenities were. Or how great the food tasted. But I’ll always remember how Ahmet made me feel.

He made me feel appreciated. He made me feel like a friend. He made me feel important.

It happened in a moment. And it shaped my whole experience.

People remember how you make them feel more than anything you say in your marketing. It means more to them than anything else your business does.

What could you do to create moments when your customer feels important?

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

Yesterday on the phone with my contractor who was racing to an appointment and I was trying to get a final word in, I was taken aback, when he said, "Jayme, I need to get going to an appointment now, but is there anything else I can help you with before I go?"

I did not expect that, and it made me feel important as his customer. He truly, it felt, indicated that he was ready to serve and do a good job. 

I understand your story, John!

Latest blog post: What Is A Heartful Business?