Sometimes you have to just take a moment and look up from business as usual—no matter how compelling that business may be—and celebrate someone or something that has WOWed you beyond words.
Have you ever had an experience that was so over-the-top- extraordinary that you simply HAD to tell everyone you know about it—and invite them to pass it on to all of their friends and colleagues? Last week I had just that experience at the InterContinental Hotel, our world-class gem of a property right in downtown Cleveland, at 9801 Carnegie Ave. Scott Gerlach, Director of Sales, and his exceptional staff hosted my fellow Planning
Committee member and I as well as 4 of our 7 speakers on the eve of our 5th Annual Plexus Supplier Diversity Summit. All of us were completely blown away by the service we received from every single staff person we encountered, from the parking attendants to the front desk, to the restaurant and room service to housekeeping and random staff who helped us in a variety of situations. Seasoned travelers as we all are, we were so delighted we were almost shocked. No matter what issue we faced, Scott and his staff handled it, smoothed it over or just plain recreated it to suit our needs. No ifs ands or buts, the answer was always, “How can I help?” and “What do you need?” No matter how big or how small the request, it was always handled graciously and with a smile. Clearly the motivation of every employee we encountered was “world-class service with a smile.”
Here are three small things that WOWed me beyond words:
- When we checked in on Wednesday evening, my colleague and I were concerned about checking out of our rooms before we left for the conference, since we wouldn’t be staying an extra night. The front desk manager personally arranged for us to have a very late check out so we could get breakfast and get out quickly in the morning without worrying about clearing our room. “No problem. My pleasure.” said Ms De Marseille, as she smilingly gave us our room keys. WOW.
- The morning of the event, my colleague and I needed to get breakfast earlier than the restaurant opened. When I called the hotel’s 24-hour room service at 5:30 A.M. to ask for her help to get a head start on breakfast, the night operator said she’d take care of it personally. Although breakfast only starts at 6:00 AM, we had a truly gorgeous meal (served on warming plates to keep it hot!) by 6:14. Clearly this wonderful woman made it her business to take care of us, when she would have been well within her rights to suggest I call back at 6 with everyone else. WOW.
- After our conference, I was back at the hotel, so grateful for my late checkout, so I could change out of my work clothes into something more comfortable, catch my breath and get ready to drive home to Akron. After an exquisite meal at Table 45, I found that I was just not ready to hit the road and headed to the gift shop to get a magazine, so I could just sit and read with my iPod & some smooth jazz. The shop had closed at 5:00—a full 30 minutes before. Now this could just have been disappointing, as well as the end of the story, if it hadn’t been for one of the staff at the concierge desk, who saw my plight and offered to help. If all else failed, he was prepared to open the shop for me so I could purchase that magazine I wanted. One of his colleagues knew that the gift shop manager was still in the building. He ran and found her and asked her to open up for me…which she did with a very gracious smile. Each one of them made my comfort more important than the circumstances, and each one of them went out of their way to help me when I needed it the most. If this hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed it. WOW!!
Last week I discovered that now when I think of “hotel” I immediately think of The InterContinental Hotel. If you haven’t had the pleasure of a lunch at one of their two restaurants, or a meeting in their gorgeous spaces, or an overnight stay, I hope you will call Scott Gerlach personally at 216-707-4100 and check it out for yourself. Tell him I sent you!