{Pt 2} Grapes and Coca-Cola’s – How far do you go to have Memorable Customer Service? NISE Leadership: Hilton Barbados

It’s been a good while since we continued our look at customer service and what a company should and shouldn’t do… US Media guru Roland Martin in his talk at Hilton Barbados felt this country was losing out on a huge demographic chunk which should be second-nature to attract – i.e. the Afro-American market. He also stated what small business owners should NOT have is an employee so grumpy that they assassinate your business by advising potential customers to visit your competition simply because they feel like loafing.

David Neilands introducing Teresa Allen and entertaining in his own right

David Neilands introducing Teresa Allen and entertaining in his own right

On the other hand, he can be a bit demanding in a peak period, you see – the Hilton is in the midst of the ICC Twenty20 Cricket and handling all the teams and various entourages, and he wants a TV remote like yesterday? Me, I’d’ve probably been fired in his books, since I’d ask him if his fingers were broken or did he not know how to manually adjust a TV’s channel?

Many key Managers & Directors of Barbados attended the motivational gala

Many key Managers & Directors of Barbados attended the motivational gala

What people should do is give service above what is usually the benchmark of what’s expected. David Neilands commented on this when introducing Teresa Allen. He recalled how he and his wife visited Tehran just before the Student Revolution of 1979, yet there more don’ts than do’s, yet when they entered a charming Armenian bistro the waiter asked if they wanted Coca-Cola’s or ‘Coca-Cola’s‘? So they decided to be bold and ask for ‘Coca-Cola’s‘ and got Coke & Vodka the whole time during their meal (which is very brave, since Iran is STRICTLY anti-alcohol).

Naturally, they vowed if they should return to Iran, they’d look for that same bistro and patronise it all over again, the key to exceeding service and generating repeat customers! I do feel David should be a Motivational Speaker in his own right.

Teresa Allen recently addressing business leaders at Needham's Point

Teresa Allen recently addressing business leaders at Needham's Point

Then Teresa Allen was on stage and recalling a time at Disney when her family had dinner late and the fries her kids ate were cold, and a janitor sought to get them warmed up (way beyond his jurisdiction) and when that option failed he tried to compensate by offering Teresa’s children a bowl of grapes. While I’d’ve preferred even the non-fresh chips I would applaud his effort at seeking to rise above the occasion – her story was a different version of David’s; when a customer has a lack and is given a different option which may exceed their original expectations. The effort is small yet the rewards can be fantastic!

However, as I have written about here time and again – how often is this the reality in Barbados? The few exceptions of valued excellence in appreciating customers here are few and far between – these including Praxis and TeleBarbados… That is why NISE seminars are more necessary – but not just for Supervisors, Managers & CEO’s but the staff as well!

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  1. I so enjoyed your wonderful country of Barbados and did have a story of tremendous service while there for the NISE conference. In an effort to see as much as possilbe of the island in a brief time, we hired a taxi to take us to various locations. Dwight, our driver was so professional, personable, and knowledgeable that I think he may be the tipping point on my desire to tell everyone about Barbados and all that it has to offer. We hired him a second day and thus by his service he expanded the revenue for his company, himself and ultimately probably a huge positive spin even in the U.S. as I recount all my great experiences. Let no one think they are insignificant… it is like the pieces of a puzzle that when put together in the right way make a beautiful picture! Thank you Dwight and thank you to all at NISE and the HIlton for your warm hospitality. I for one will be spinning alot of positive messages because of you about Barbados in the U.S By the way – NOW would be a good time to market your properties and destinations to U.S. consumers while we are uncertain about the future of our beach destinations in the Gulf South… especially to residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida who flock to the white sands in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.



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