Nina Spencer

A Class Act of Customer Service

I had a stellar experience being of service to a particular client a couple of days ago. They were a class act from their very first call of initial enquiry regarding the booking of my services, clean on through to their superb efficiency at handling and processing all administrivia between us, and then on to their care for personally arranging my transportation back to the airport.

A speaker doesn't need this level of queen or king-bee royal treatment and fuss--we know how to flag cars for ourselves, go solo schlepping suitcases through hotel lobbies, up elevators and along halls to single-occupancy rooms, followed by ordering solitary in-room, mid-evening dinners consumed with the companionship of the tube--but when extra care is lavished by a client, well, it is very nice, indeed!

My client graciously chose to meet me at the airport and then, knowing I'd flown right through the dinner hour--on a carrier that doesn't serve any meals--which one does these days???--whisked me off to one of her favourite Italian eateries. And, to shower even more TLC upon me, my client's boss met us at that restaurant, too, and we all had a lovely time getting acquainted over the next two hours. An escort back to my hotel at night's end and into one of the prettiest suites in the hotel I went, balcony and all--facing the night's serenity and sounds of the Ottawa River, just beyond the buzz of the city centre. The following morning I had time to truly appreciate the thoughtfulness of the suite chosen for me for this stay. I leisurely ate my room service breakfast on that balcony, now viewing the full daylight splendor of the Ottawa River in early spring, including the songs of chickadees, cardinals, ospreys, crows, red-winged blackbirds, ducks--yes, it's true, I know my birds!--and even the magical good omen of spotting a family of deer on the far shore! What a wonderful experience I'd had being of service to this client so far, and I'd not even yet delivered my keynote presentation!

Needless to say, when a speaker's out-of-town engagement starts out this well--because a client goes that extra mile taking the time to demonstrate care, effort and concern for their "guest's" needs and comforts --a speaker just knows that reciprocity will flow all the more naturally and inspiration from them to their audience. In truth, a speaker will give all audiences their very best absolutely every time out--even when the odd client and/or audience is less than gracious or resistant to receiving and considering the speaker's message. But a ready, willing and able audience and client--ready to interface with the speaker and engage before, during and after the presentation--is a speaker's most favourite, delicious delight.

And so the audience on this particular day--fortified with all those lovely pre-presentation good omens and feelings that were spurred on and set-up by their event planners--was fabulous. They were learning ready, conference ready and despite the one or two, or perhaps even three or four out-of-the-gate-skeptics, the group was pleased to be there and keen to participate. And by the end of the presentation it was very clear to me that all--even the few carping skeptics--were engaged and glad to have attended. A lovely day. A wonderful client experience. An honoured speaker. My job was effectively done. Mission over-the-top successfully accomplished...with pleasure. And now, back to Ottawa two more times, for two new and different client events next week! Ottawa sure does seem to be where it's at in the merry, merry month of May--Tulip Festival and all!