What’s In Your Customer Rolodex?

It had been over two years since I had stayed at the downtown Chicago Marriott. I hardly recognized the lobby interior given their renovation since my last stay. But, the desk clerk assumed I had the memory of an elephant and said, “You stayed on the 31st floor on the West side last time you were here. Would you like a similar room on that same floor again?” I said, “Sure.” But to be completely honest nothing about my last stay was in my memory banks. I stay in hotels almost every week and they tend to run together.

“I see in your profile,” she continued, “that you prefer points over a complimentary snack. But, I want you to have this complimentary bottle of water. We have a new coffee in the rooms that’s really great and I’ll bet you will want to make it with bottled water in the morning instead of tap water from the bathroom.” I was starting to feel at home. I almost expected my favorite desk chair to be waiting on me and my laptop.

Fast forward two days later. My laundry forgot I like my shirts folded, not on a hanger. The teller at my local branch asked for my ID before she would cash my check. And, the waitress at the local diner where I frequently have breakfast asked me how I preferred they cook my eggs. They all must have lost my page in their Rolodexes.

Customers today like their service personalized. With the proliferation of part-time employees and turnover, it is crucial service providers find ways to keep their “Rolodex” of customer intelligence up-to-date and available. When customers feel the impact of “we know you,” it not only elevates their loyalty, it enhances your bottom line.


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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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