Someone once asked me what I thought about Atlanta and I said “Sherman should have finished what he started.”
I paused long enough to see if they took me seriously and then said that I have nothing but good memories of the city.
It is true, I do have good memories. I have only been there once and it was only for a brief trip but I very much enjoyed my stay.
Some of those memories are tied into the reason I went and some are because of things that happened while I was there.
The 1996 Olympics
My one and only trip to Atlanta was for the 1996 Olympics and came about because I won a sales contest.
I was working as a copier salesman for Pitney Bowes and in March of ’96 I went on a tear and sold enough units to be one of the 36 or so salespeople from around the country who were given a free ride to the Olympic games.
It was a great trip and I have lots of memories of the events I got to see. It really was awesome to see athletes like Michael Johnson compete while at their peak.
But one of the lasting memories from that trip is from the couple who stayed in the room next to mine. For three nights we were serenaded by sounds that you would normally only find in certain movies.
My roommate’s name was Evan and I am sorry to say we didn’t keep in touch. I think he was from Detroit, but I can’t say I remember for certain. I would be curious to speak with him today to see if his memory of those moments are the same as my own.
Anyway, I remember trying to fall asleep the first night and being too excited to sleep. I was thinking about getting up to go for a walk when all of a sudden I heard muffled voices and furniture moving.
It didn’t take long to figure out what was happening. Evan and I started to laugh and swapped silly lines.
The screaming stopped us dead in our tracks.
It was clearly female, but we weren’t sure what to make of it. We talked about whether to go knock on the door or call downstairs and then we heard “MORE!”
She repeated it multiple times, screamed again and then went silent.
I made a crack about how it would be much easier to sell if all of our customers were that happy.
Evan and I laughed and went to sleep
A Satisfied Customer
That screaming went on every night for three nights and by the time it was over I wanted to kill them both. It went from being funny to irritating and I have wondered from time to time what was really going on.
Maybe he really was “man” enough to satisfy his woman or maybe they were just weird, I don’t really know.
What I know now is customer service is an area in which companies can distinguish themselves and very few do. You have to work very hard to come up with lists of great customer service experiences because there are very few to mention.
The sad thing is that you don’t have to work hard to come up with lists of poor experiences because there are many.
I suppose you can accuse me of being crude, but I wish companies would try to perform the sort of customer service that makes people scream “more.” It would be great to hear our friends and family rave about how good company XYZ is instead of how bad they are.
Your Customers Talk and Tell Stories
That is the kind of story you want your customers to tell. You want to create the kind of loyalty that makes them scream and state they will never switch brands.
None of this is particularly profound but sadly it is not found often which is why I am talking about it today.
If you find the sweet spot your people will sing your praises. The question is are you willing to do the work to make that happen.