Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D. By Dr. Natalie Petouhoff

I was getting ready to go to the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on April 1st when I realized alot of the hotels were already booked. Not sure where to stay, a friend suggested I call the Pick Wick Hotel. If you haven’t met me before, you know I believe companies live or die by their customer service. They had rooms. Whew! Holding my breath I asked the price. It was $108.00. I asked if the price included a bed. They laughed.

I looked at the schedule again, I saw that Forrester Senior Analyst Jeremiah Owyang was speaking on Wednesday morning. Wanting to support my colleague, I thought I would check to see if they had rooms for Tuesday and Wednesday night. Thursday was Clara Shih’s book signing party. Friday I was scheduled to meet with Lithium and Jive. There was more to do than the time allotted. Yes, they did have rooms. Wow! And &#8212 drum roll… the price was $84. Every night I added, the price went down. I asked about wireless internet. Yes, they had it and it was free.

Every time I asked a question, I was surprised by the answer. They were fun, nice, and I got everything I needed. The hotel was cozy and I slept well.The conference was great. I’ll write more about the conference soon, but what I wanted to focus on was &#8212 how surprised I was by the hotel accomodations. I was also surprised that I was surprised.

So my question for you is….

  • When was the last time you interacted with a company and were surprised by great service?
  • What happened?
  • What was surprising?
  • Did you call the company back and tell them how happy they made you?

Wouldn’t it be an interesting world if we weren’t surprised when customer service was extraordinary?

Write me back &#8212 I want to hear your stories &#8212 about good (or bad) customer service experiences. Don’t spare any details. Your examples just may end up in my research!