Marriott’s 18 second cookie – and why it’s important

In a recent post I wrote that no one goes out of their way for average. A company needs to stand out (for the right reasons) if it is to survive and prosper in this age of the customer.

I have just been reading a post by Shep Hyken, a customer service speaker, in which he makes the point that for a company to deliver amazing customer service they need to be consistently above average, even if only a little.

He then goes on to describe a recent experience he had while staying at the Marriott in Plano, TX.

This is a nice hotel that sits at the end of the Legacy Town Center. I was there for a conference and a woman named Alexandria Vanreenen was our sales representative. Alex, as she prefers to be called, was engaging and helpful. As our convention was her “customer,” she seemed to be there from first thing in the morning until our last function in the evening.

This hotel loves to give their guests some of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten. And, they taste even better when you microwave them for 18 seconds. Alex noticed I was taking the cookies and microwaving them for my friends. We started talking and I told her the secret was 18 seconds for an individual cookie, or 22 seconds for two or three cookies.

At the final night banquet, just as we were eating dessert, Alex and the chef came out from the kitchen with a plate of cookies. In the middle was a little sign that read: 18 Second Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Here is an example of a company representative listening to her customers and then creating a moment of magic. This was certainly not an average experience. These are the stories that people like to share. You do not have to be a Marriott to create such stories and, as I am sure you know, word of mouth marketing is the most powerful, and most inexpensive, way to build and grow your brand.

So what are you doing that’s above average?



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