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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Treat ‘Em All Special

Robert Stevenson Blog- treat me as if I'm a VIP

I recently did a program at a beautiful hotel where the customer service at the front desk was poor. I was thinking to myself how important it is to treat ALL customers with respect and efficiency. So, I did some research and came across some old notes of mine from years ago, finding a story that I thought was worth sharing with you on that subject. I must give one caveat about the story … this was before the arrival of the internet, where information is now so easily attainable.

A young woman worked for a large hotel chain and wanted to advance rapidly through the ranks. Through the rumor mill, she heard that the president of the chain was going to be a guest in her hotel and could possibly be checking in during her shift. She had no idea what he looked like (Remember – there was no internet to look him up) and she was extremely nervous and uptight, not wanting to do anything wrong while she waited on him. She asked other people in the hotel if they knew what he looked like and struck out there; none had ever seen him, but a few told her there were stories about him checking in under a factious name.

Not wanting to foul up when he checked in, she contemplated what she should do and devised a strategy that she felt would work. The next evening, she received a call from the president of the chain who said, “When I checked in yesterday you were so gracious, professional, and friendly. I want you to know that I am delighted to have you working for my company. You are an excellent addition to our staff, and I see great things ahead for you.”

What’s interesting about the story is she never knew that he had checked in; he had registered under a factious name as he had done many times before. In fact, she thought he must not have ever shown up, because no one said anything. How did she do such a great job, not knowing who was the president? Her strategy saved her. She decided to treat everyone who checked in at her counter like they were the president; a VIP – Very Important Person. All day long she treated everyone SPECIAL. If the president was waiting in line, she wanted him to see how friendly and efficient she was to everyone … and if she did wait on the president, she would be doing the same for him.

What a great strategy, “Treat ‘Em “All” like they are very important people. You can’t ever go wrong doing that. You never know who is watching you, grading you, or who has the ability to help advance your career. If you want to put your career on the fast track to success … treat everyone special … customers, associates, bosses … it shouldn’t matter.

I read a quote that stated, “From this point on I am going to treat people exactly how they treated me. Some should be glad, others should be scared.” Even though the quote makes me chuckle, it’s not going to help anyone succeed.

I’ll leave you with this, the world’s most underrated “Secret for Success:” Treat everyone you meet, deal with, or work with, like they are very important people.


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