I received a delightful note when I found my seat at the Arena Stage Theater in Washington, D.C., last week. I was on vacation and visiting the theater for the first time.
An envelope addressed to Ms. Lynn Gaertner-Johnston lay propped on my upturned seat. Inside it were two small wrapped chocolates (dark chocolate, and milk chocolate with toffee crisp) and this typed, hand-signed note:
Dear Ms. Lynn Gaertner-Johnston,
We are excited that you are joining us for your first show at Arena Stage. Please enjoy this sweet treat on us. We hope you enjoy your show. Do not hesitate to ask our staff members for anything you need. We look forward to seeing you back for another show soon!
I am a sucker for a surprising, individualized message, and I loved this one. It welcomed me and acknowledged my first visit to the theater. It included sweets for my husband and me. It spelled my name correctly! And there it was, waiting for me on my ticketed seat.
When I visit Washington, D.C., again, I will be certain to check out the productions at the Arena Stage. Not just because of this note, of course. But because of the entire experience of attending the theater and seeing a terrific production of A Raisin in the Sun. No, a note like this can't make the difference when other parts of the experience fail the customer, but it can take a positive experience to a special high.
As a customer or a client, have you been surprised by a customer service gesture like the note left for me? Or from the other perspective, what do you do to delight and surprise your customers, clients, or colleagues? Please share your examples. (Student readers: Think of things you might do to delight others in your future work.)
Here are other blog posts I've written on happy customer surprises:
- Bring a Smile to Your Reader
- Consider It Done
- Surprising Your Customers
- A Sweet Surprise From the Pan Pacific Hotel
- Furnace Maintenance for Readers–Brilliant!
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