Customer Service New Orleans Style

by Mynders

This week, I’ve returned to the town of my youth, New Orleans…a city which has changed dramatically over the years. If you heard that New Orleans is not the same as before Katrina, you’re right. It’s better.

I’m down here for my niece’s wedding. But as Deb and I were  planning for the trip, two other close friend couples invited themselves on our vacation, affording me the rare opportunity to play tour guide.

My first clue of change was when I took my friends down the street of my childhood home, and I passed right by my house. Probably the biggest surprise was the resurgence of an old neighborhood on the fringe of the French Quarter, considered the other side of the tracks when I was growing up…but now, Frenchmen Street is the heart of the jazz club scene in the City. It seems everywhere we  turned, neighborhoods were on the upswing. Post Hurricane city pride is evident everywhere.

When is it Time to call it Quits?

A few short years ago, right after the Hurricane, people all over the country were looking at the devestation after the evacuation of the city and saying, ‘Wouldn’t this be a good time to realize that the city is no longer safe from big storms?’ Not the case for New Orleanians. The pride of this City is much like a company with a strong corporate culture…like an Amazon or Apple…yet, here, it goes to the core of the people.

Customer Service Mentality at its best

As I’ve been showing my close friends my hometown, the customer service of a pride-felt city has been apparent everywhere we turned.

Here’s a prime example. Months ago, I booked the Sunday Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace, one of New Orleans’ top restaurants. I knew that this crew had probably never experienced fine dining the way the Big Easy can serve it up. Few cities can duplicate the experience of New Orleans dining, because like a fine Brand, it’s ingrained in the culture of the City.

And, of course the meal was exquisite, with the Dixieland jazz Band playing next to our table  and the floor to ceiling glass in the garden Room looking out over 200 year old live oaks adding to the ambiance. But what cemented the experience was the choreography of the entire wait staff. This was a Team that came together because of their commitment to providing the ultimate customer experience…and it clicked. As we watched the entire Staff working together like a well-choreographed stage production, it was apparent that eating at this restaurant was all about the collective experience. One aspect alone did not define the experience, but rather the attention to detail all along the way.

Renewing our Commitment to Serve

So often in our businesses, we try to apply all of the latest marketing and social media techniques to our business. And then, we wonder why we have a hard time distinguishing ourselves from our competition. We can’t even find our own identity, much less effectively communicate it to others. There’s a missed opportunity to focus on the few actions that can really set us apart.

Imagine if you became committed to providing a certain ‘customer experience’ much like a fine restaurant. Not just any fabricated experience, but one that reflected whom you are…your uniqueness…and that which you could sustain. And, you became so committed to that that it didn’t matter if some people didn’t like your Brand. In a short period, you’d quickly attract the right clientele for your message. And, you’d have a whole lot of fun doing it.

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