Social Excellence Makes You Money

by Matt Mattson

Why is it that great service is so rare but seemingly so simple? [And what can that teach us?]

large_waiters_cocktailsI eat at restaurants a lot.  Nine times out of ten the service I recieve is hum drum.  But that one time out of ten, I have a remarkable, memorable experience.  The difference is normally very simple, but always it is an example of Social Excellence.

Twice this week I’ve had memorable dining experiences. 

First on Saturday night with my wife at a pretty nice Italian restaurant in Denver called Panzanos.  The food was great, the ambience was decent, but the server made the night special.  Simple things… He had an excellent recommendation when I asked for it, he engaged with us in a genuine way, he went the extra mile and gave us a little extra of the gorgonzola sauce we were raving about (which cost the restaurant $0), and he was focused on giving us his best effort — he was sharing a gift with us, the gift of a wonderful dining experience.

Then yesterday morning as I was at the Portland airport I sat down for breakfast at yet another airport cafe (I love a nice egg sandwich before my flight).  My server was spectacular.  Again, she had a recommendation, she made some jokes, she smiled and seemed to be enjoying herself, and then… as I got up to head to my gate, she noticed I was leaving from the other side of the cafe and said, “Thanks Matt, have a great flight.”  That’s right, she used my name (I hadn’t introduced myself, she just saw it on my credit card). 

How hard is that?  Not difficult at all.  But I’m going to rave about those experiences.

When you’re recruiting people into your organization, do you provide experiences like that, or not?  When your members engage with the public on your campus, do they leave people smiling?  Do they provide a remarkable, memorable experience?  Or are they just regular people you come across everyday?  Are they the 9 out of 10 or the 1 out of 10?

Living a lifestyle of Social Excellence includes a commitment to leaving the people you encounter feeling special.  Leaving them with a remarkable moment.  Leaving them with a memory, a surprise. 

People who are socially excellent surprise people all the time in small ways. 

Imagine if your organization made it its #1 goal to surprise someone every day and make people around you smile.

So, those two servers got big tips from me.  I felt GREAT about giving them my money because I had a VALUABLE experience.  They surprised me in small ways and they were rewarded.  I’m sure I’m not the only one they encountered this week that rewarded them with a financial recognition of the value they added to someone’s life. 

Add value to someone’s life and you’ll be rewarded (Social Excellence Makes You Money).

Surprise people in small ways today. Make someone feel special.  Be remarkable. 

P.S. If you think this makes some sense, and you’ve never read Seth Godin’s work before, start reading it. 

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