What Is Your Wish?

It’s been great to be on vacation in sunny South Florida, as a matter of fact I’m typing this from my 21st. floor balcony of The W Hotel over-looking the beach.  This balcony has been such a great place for writing, thinking, meditation and tranquility each and every morning.  I can smell the ocean, watch the waves roll up to the shore and watch the morning joggers.  I’ve even learned to appreciate the sounds of the cars passing by and occasional background noise of construction work.

The attribute that has impressed me the most about our stay at The W Hotel is their over the top customer service.  My wife and I have stayed at The W Hotel before in New York City; however we don’t remember our experience being quite like this.

From the time we arrived everyone from the bellman, housekeeping, concierge, to the front desk clerk have been exceptional.  You almost feel compelled to tip everyone for anything.  The W Hotel has this “Whatever, Whenever… What Is Your Wish” theme.  When you call the operator they answer the phone by saying, “Whatever, Whenever Mr. Williams, what is your wish?” Seriously, I think one time she even said, “Good Morning Mr. Williams, how can I make your wish come true?”

Don’t get me wrong this place costs a pretty penny per night and we have even ran across Miami Heat Superstar Dwayne Wayne and acclaimed Hip-Hop & R&B producer Scott Storch getting their Ferrari’s valet parked.  Not to mention the night of Lebron James’ “Big Decision,” he had 25 rooms reserved at The W Hotel right here South Florida.  The W Hotel has everything from the overall ambiance, look, spa level toiletry products, chic feel and most importantly the customer service.  My son’s who are seven and eleven years old said, “Dad, this hotel is cool and everyone is really nice.”

To top it off, I called to get a wake-up call and the lady asked me which type of wake-up call I would like, “Excuse Me!” She responded, “Would you like a motivational, inspirational, traditional or a breakfast in bed?”  Me, “Do, they cost extra?”  She responded, “No, sir Mr. Williams.”  Me, “Okay, then give me the inspirational.”

The next morning my wake-up call was as follows, “Good Morning Mr. Williams your inspirational wake-up call is ‘A man with confidence instills confidence in others.'”  She followed up with a, “Do you have another wish Mr. Wiliams?”  Me, “Give me three more wishes…  Seriously can you follow up with another one of these calls in about 15 minutes?”

The bottom line is that The W Hotel is not doing anything that any other hotel establishment can’t do.  A critical component for The W Hotel is the fact that the they truly value customer service and training.  It’s not merely a lip service that every service industry claims to value.  The W Hotel Values + Execution of Those Values = Satisfied Customers.  Satisfied Customers + Returning Satisfied Customers = Hotel Success.  This applies to all industry, if you don’t believe me look at Chick-fil-a and their “My Pleasure” value system.

How much more successful would restaurants, churches, businesses and any other service industry be if they truly embraced a “Whatever, Whenever, What is Your Wish Philosophy?”

Share your thoughts and experiences with brands that do an excellent job with customer service.

  • I love this topic. What a great post idea.

    One of the best customer service experiences one can have is at a Houston’s restaurant. In college I worked as a server for Houston’s. The training was intense, even militaristic. But the end result was a well-oiled machine.

    Part of their philosophy is the idea that everyone contributes to everyone elses success. If a customer asks for a drink and they are “not your table” it doesn’t matter. You supply their needs. The act is later reciprocated by another co-worker.

    They break down the “me and mine” type of thinking and instead focus on the “us and all.” With that you get big beefy delicious burgers and an entire meal where every need is anticipated.

    • Scott Williams

      We have a local restaurant in OKC “Charelston’s” which basically replicated most of Houston’s style and process. The do the same thing and for the customer, it makes a difference.

  • I was actually going to mention Houston’s as well and will always brag on them whenever I get an opportunity. I have been eating there since I was nine (28 years–you do the math!) and there’s a reason that they’re always packed no matter the location. I’ve been to Houston’s all over the United States, and there have only been a handful of times when the service was not up to par. One of those times was when my husband & I had a server who had recently worked for Outback Steak House. Nothing against Outback, but there is a night and day difference between the steaks they serve compared to the Houston’s Hawaiian Ribeye (the best I’ve ever tasted, including the ones I’ve had at the more fancy schmancy places). I digress…

    On the above mentioned occasion when we were served a steak that wasn’t the normal standard, we knew it and promptly told our server. We found out that he had worked for Outback when he tried to defend the quality of the meat we were served saying that, “That’s how they always were at Outback.” Hmmmmm…not the right answer.

    The point is that Houston’s not only backs up an exceptional product with exceptional service, they also make it exceptionally right when it isn’t. Again, there’s a reason we go to Houston’s and not to Outback when we want a good steak. As we left, I asked to speak with the restaurant manager and explained our dining experience. He offered a sincere apology and asked if we would give them the opportunity to make it right (ummmmm, yes!?!?!). After a moment he returned and handed us a gold-gilded envelope with a complementary dinner for two (including appetizers and dessert).

    On another occasion, my husband took me to Houston’s for my 30th birthday a week before my actual birthday because he was going to be out of town that week. On my actual birthday, I returned (alone) as a treat to myself. The hostess remembered me from the week prior (that in itself is remarkable) and asked where my husband was so I briefly explained my birthday “situation.” At the end of my fabulous meal (I hate to admit that I ordered “the works”), my server came to the table with my favorite dessert which had a single candle on it. I thanked her and as she began to walk away, she turned around and casually said, “Oh, by the way…your meal is on us. Nobody should have to be by themselves on their birthday.”

    THAT single act of kindness brought me to tears and I could barely get a thank you out (I’m sure I looked silly to other people who didn’t know what was going on). It was one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me. I believe it is the Law of Difference that helps [businesses, churches, people, etc.] succeed…doing the things that nobody else seems to care about doing, and then doing them with excellence.

  • Jaafar

    Love it… Reading this made me laugh bc I know how much you dig that stuff. Thanks for challenging us to keep thinking… I appreciate what you do!

  • Love it… Reading this made me laugh bc I know how much you dig that stuff. Thanks for challenging us to keep thinking… I appreciate what you do!

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