My mountain river house has a really cool feature. About 50 feet from the back porch there is a platform that sits right on the river bank. It is a romantic spot to sit and watch/hear/feel the river rushing by, especially on a clear starry night. Between the porch and the platform is a set of long steps leading down to the platform, and then on down a few more feet to the riverbank.

Now, here is the best part. There is a two-way light that enables you to turn on the lights at the porch and along the steps so you can safely traverse to the platform. Once you are seated by the river, you can turn off the porch and step lights from the platform to enjoy the full majesty of a starry night. We call it magical egress—the portal giving us access to awesomeness! A glass of wine tastes better under the stars on a riverbank than just about anywhere else!

Customer service has its own forms of egress. Some service providers have gatekeepers that make it easy or difficult to get what you want the way you want it.  Some clutter service access with form, rules, and all manner of time-robbing hassle. Some are delighted to adjust they processes to their customers’ needs and requirements. Some build their egress to service around those they serve. An organization’s customer service egress tells customers a lot about what matters most to a service provider.

Author Sue Cook was running a bit late as she was checking out of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. She noticed the clerk was dashing between the location Sue had stopped to check out and a location much further away. It was only then that she realized she had stopped at the concierge desk to check out instead of the front desk. When she apologized to the busy concierge, she got a two-way light response. “Ms. Cook, you are our guest,” the concierge said with a warm smile, “You can check out wherever you like.”

Sue still glows when she describes this special customer service memory—much like a starry night on a riverbank!