It’s the Little Touches that People Remember

Doubletree Cookie

I recently stayed at a Double Tree Hotel in Dallas for training and their little touches were right on the money. When we arrived they had plenty of people working the front desk. The computers were freezing as they processed our check-in, so while we waited for their computer to boot back up the lady gave us some warm chocolate chip cookies. They even had a woman call up to my room fifteen minutes after I walked in to make sure everything was satisfactory. That wasn’t even the best part.


The lady that checked us in had a great personality. You could tell that she was working happy. She smiled and joked with us even when she was frustrated with her computer. It made me think of a quote from Charles D. Kerns, PhD.

Both job performance and the employees’ level of happiness impact the potential of success for an organization.


When an employee can manage the little annoyances and still allow for a good customer experience then they will help make their company a success. These employees will also rub off on the rest of the staff.


I never asked the woman at the hotel if she had trained her staff to respond to customers’ requests in a happy way, but when I stopped by the desk to ask for the training schedule a man in her staff smiled and gave me the starting time for the next morning. I’ve been in the same situation in the past and about 9 out of 10 times I’ve been given the look of “why are you disturbing me with such a trivial question.” He seemed to have the same attitude as her manager: happy.


I wish that I could have asked her what her, techniques were, but I could see that she didn’t have time with the line backing up behind me. It made me think of another passage from Charles D. Kerns, PhD.


Perhaps the initial way for a managerial leader to think about how to influence the happiness level of his or her employees is in relation to the employee’s present situation. For example, engagement with one’s work can likely be enhanced by having an individual assess her “strengths” and utilize those strengths in her work. This may include coaching to help the individual use her strengths in innovative ways. An employee’s level of engagement at work, and subsequent happiness, is likely boosted when he or she has the opportunity to do what he or she does best at work – utilizing one’s strengths is a positive experience.


She probably hired people who were like her, or human resources hired “people-oriented” employees who know how to make a customer feel good.


Whatever training or happy plan they had in place seemed to be working, and I’ll be staying at a Double Tree again whenever I have the choice.


Have you ever had an outstanding customer service experience? Share your story.

2 thoughts on “It’s the Little Touches that People Remember”

  1. Hi Karl,

    Isn’t that amazing how we remember those “little” things? For the cost of a cookie, a joke or two, and a (free) telephone call, they won you over. I”m guessing they concentrate on hiring and training like minded people.

    To me, there’s nothing worse than calling or visiting a business and feeling like I’m disturbing them.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Be Inspired By Nothing

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