In this day and age, everything a company does can be documented, recorded and shared with not only friends and family, but the whole world. How many times have we seen companies make news headlines because of customer service, or lack thereof? It doesn’t take much for a company on the wrong side of the customer service spectrum to go viral, and the worst part is that a company is much more likely to go viral because of one wrong move than for going above and beyond and truly wowing a customer. Wouldn’t it be nice though, to open the newspaper and see a company on the front page because they were excelling at making their customers happy? Wouldn’t it be nice to see Facebook feeds and Twitter timelines filled with stories of customers being wowed by the businesses they interacted with? I love celebrating and talking about customer service that leaves me feeling inspired and awed. So much so, that I’m going to share a story of one such moment that not only inspired me, but my family as well.
My family and I were fortunate to take a recent trip to Hawaii, although if I’m being honest, Waikiki was not what any of us expected. I envisioned Hawaii to be filled with rugged landscape, tropical beaches and a relaxing atmosphere, but instead Waikiki felt more urban and commercialized. There were massive hotels, chain restaurants and parking lots on the beach. Don’t get me wrong, it was still beautiful, but certainly not what we were expecting. So I asked the concierge for some assistance on how best to see the island as the ‘locals do’, to save what I was afraid would not be a great experience.
The concierge was nice when faced with my honesty, but she wasn’t having a lot of luck getting us into some of the places she thought we should see and so instead, she called a good friend of hers to assist. His name was Keely, and because he was a local, he knew the island very well.
He was a little intimidating at first with his broad build and tough stature. With his long curry hair, muscles, and tattoos, he reminded us of Maui from the movie, Moana. But it wasn’t long before we saw Keely for who he truly was: the epitome of outstanding customer service.
He showed up to a group of 18 eager kids and adults, ready to experience the island as the locals do. Keely arranged for a small van and drove us to the north side of the island, where we were able to see waterfalls and visit a remote beach. Then he took us to a coffee plantation and arranged with the business owners to have us sample some of the coffee. We visited his friend’s convenience store, where Keely pulled out his ukulele and put on a mini-concert with the kids. He took us to local food trucks, despite our hesitance, and we ate some of the best food we’ve ever had in our lives. Ultimately, Keely helped us see the island, the culture and the people from a perspective other than tourist, and we were captivated with each and every person and place we encountered.
Keely was the game changer on our trip to Hawaii. He made us feel like family and undoubtedly made us understand the true definition of Ohana. He didn’t have to go above and beyond for us that day. He could have taken us around for a few hours, shown us one or two cool places, but instead he devoted his day to positively impacting us and bringing smiles to each of our faces.
Every single day, each of us has the opportunity to go above and beyond like Keely did. Whether it’s with our friends and family, total strangers or at our place of business, we all have the tools to wow someone. You’d be surprised how far a great attitude, a little understanding, a friendly smile and a true desire to serve others can take you.