I can’t recall the source or specifics, but I recently heard a story on the radio involving a restaurant and a Maitre d’ that is embedded in my thoughts for time and memorial. Not the specific details, but the over-reaching premise and point of the story that directly connects to social media marketing and customer service. The story crossed my mind again this morning, triggered by a television commercial that was on in the background in my office. I decided to make the story the topic of this post.
A couple came into the high-end restaurant that was known for their steak. The gentleman had really been craving a good steak, so he and his wife decided to go out. The Maitre d’ seated his guests at a table and proceeded to give them the royal treatment, helping with chairs and napkins. Taking the couples order the waiter meticulously detailed every instruction for their meal and went off to secure its creation with the chef.
After getting the couple their drinks, appetizers and salads, the moment of truth arrived. The waiter delivered the most beautifully prepared steak the man had ever seen.
As the aroma filled the man’s nostrils, the Maitre d’ asked if there was anything else the couple required. The simple gentleman looked up at the highly polished servant of culinary excellence and politely asked for some A1 steak sauce. Without so much as blinking, the Maitre d’ immediately snapped back with, “right away sir”.
After a short period of time, the Maitre d’ rushed over to the couples table and opened a bag, revealing the A1 steak sauce the customer requested. Slightly out of breath, the Maitre d’ calmly pronounced “Your steak sauce sir.”
The gentleman looked up at the Maitre d’ and said, “why are you out of breath?” To which the Maitre d’ replied, “I had to run 5 blocks to the grocery store for your steak sauce.”
This restaurant didn’t even have A1 steak sauce and the Maitre d’ went and got it!
BE The Social Media Maitre d’
What did you learn from this story as it relates to social media marketing? I got a lot from it. Here are some things that stuck with me.
1) Stand out – Stop doing the same thing everyone else does. Stand out from the crowd in new and unique ways that deliver value to your audience.
2) Value, not price is incredible – Providing value in your streams, content and actions is what matters, not the price of your product or service.
3) Selfless is an action – Stop looking at what is in it for you and be selfless in your relationships in social media. Do this right and it will come back to you in so many ways it’s immeasurable.
4) Don’t belittle, just help – The Maitre d’ could have easily made this guy look and feel like a loser for wanting steak sauce, yet he didn’t. He did what was needed to help the man get what he wanted/liked. Most importantly he did it without belittling the man.
5) Be memorable – In everything you do in social media, do it in a way that your prospects, customers and connections never forget you. Make a memorable impression, over and over.
6) The customer isn’t always right – We could all argue that ruining an amazing, expensive steak with A1 is almost inexcusable, however who are we to say how someone else likes their food. Follow the example of keeping your opinion to yourself and just helping, therefore making them FEEL as though they are right.
7) Immediate action – Don’t wait, don’t think, don’t even ponder. Take action toward a customers need, NOW.
8) Serving others is the highest reward – No need to embellish this at all.
There are many more things that could be added to this list, but these are the main points I wanted to impress upon you, as they impressed upon me. As you continue your week, remember this incredible Maitre d’ as you engage with customers, prospects and connections in social media. Let your actions speak loud, your customer service stand apart and value trump your profitability.
disclaimer: I tried my very best to find the actual story, but despite my best searches, (I even tried using Google instead of my Bing) I was unable to locate it. So I apologize for not providing credit to the originator, but I tried to stay true to what I remembered and made a valiant effort to find it.