June 3rd, 2010 By Jack Morton
I went to the 99 Restaurant this past weekend to grab a drink with some old friends. When I arrived at the bar, the bartender introduced herself, shook my hand and asked for my name. She then took a small card, wrote down my name and faced it toward the service area so that anyone serving me would know who I was. I also observed that other patrons were well known to the staff, who called them all by their first name.
By the end of our visit, the staff knew who each of us was and said they’d see us again soon.
This simple process built an almost instant community at the bar where customers and staff alike joked and talked like a family getting together for a reunion. The 99 had created an indelible, emotional bond by simply paying attention to each and every person’s name. We would indeed be back soon.
I was reminded of the brands I feel most connected with. Whether its the customer service representative at AT&T or the front desk staff at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, MI, Each of these brands took it upon themselves to know my name.
Can it really be that simple?
“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name; and they’re always glad you came…”