My wife and I grabbed a quick weekend in New York City. After arriving at The London NYC hotel on Friday afternoon armed only with advance tickets to a Friday night and Saturday afternoon play, we went straight to the hotel concierge! We needed help with dinner reservations and off-the-beaten attractions not obvious to the typical tourist. Despite the busy, crowded hotel lobby, what we received felt like a private briefing uniquely tailored to our whims as if we were the hotel’s only guests!

Great concierges are intensely loyal to a customer. Read that line again and pay attention to the singular object of the phrase “loyal to.” They do not think of the target of their service efforts in the plural . . . they think only in the singular. They are service choreographers—managing an amalgamation of diverse elements, big and small with a singular focus on the person in front, on the phone, or click-to-click.

Like seasoned event planners, concierges manage the flow and pace of the experience—concentrating on the ease, agility, and effectiveness of the service they provide. They are superb at “backward serving.” That means having a clear picture of what the outcome should be, then working backward from that goal to ensure the reality matches the vision. It means having a sixth sense for anticipating what can go wrong in service encounters. Only with this clear picture and early warning capacity can you set about ensuring the experience product matches the experience plan.

National Customer Service Week is a chance to start serving like a great concierge. Today’s story encourages us to pay attention to the details with the same vigilance as the big stuff, to help our customers get the feeling they are our only customer.

Did you miss yesterday’s post, Are We Having Fun Yet? It’s a lively one! Stop back tomorrow for more of my series of innovative ways you can celebrate National Customer Service Week this year.

Photo Credit: Patrick McDonald via Flickr