“San Diego’s 2013 National Relocation Conference was a success. We personally had the opportunity to meet with several key mobility professionals along with industry peers whom we’ve had the pleasure of knowing for many years. The conference provided a collaborative venue for client meetings to discuss industry updates, partnership updates and to forge new relationships. We look forward to attending the Global Workforce Symposium in Dallas! “ – Katie Bahr speaking on her behalf and Susan Becker
And we are back! After an extended Christmas vacation from our blog, we are back at it and it feels good. I’d like to share an email our Executive VP of Global Relations, Rob McDaniel, sent out to the staff upon his return from his recent trip to New York. No matter how small the initiative one presents within customer service, it leaves a lasting impression.
To All Synergy Staff,
I wanted to share a brief story about an outstanding customer service experience I had while traveling the past two weeks.
As some of you may be aware, my travel took me first to our annual industry conference in Phoenix, then onto Malta, NY to identify housing solutions for one of our major clients and finally to NYC where I met w/clients and partners. The conference in Phoenix was held at the Arizona Biltmore which is a Waldorf Astoria hotel. In NYC I stayed at Cassa, a luxury hotel and apartment building in Times Square. You would think that surely this “outstanding experience” occurred at the Waldorf Astoria – the iconic pinnacle of the Hilton brand or maybe at Cassa in NYC, the hip/trendy place to stay. You would be wrong on both. Rather, it was what happened a small Hyatt Place hotel in Malta, NY that has prompted me to craft this email.
For reference, Malta has a population of about 13,000 and is located 250+ miles N of NYC and 30 miles N of Albany. Also, keep in mind that I arrived less than 2 days after one of the largest snow storms hit the Northeast. Needless to say it was interesting to see icebergs floating down the Hudson river.
I arrived in Malta on Mon 2/11 after a 5 hour train ride from Washington, DC + another ½ hr drive from Albany. Having had no lunch, I was quite hungry. When checking into the Hyatt, I was greeted by a very friendly front desk staff member along w/the GM who happened to be standing there. After small talk (which I typically don’t like to do when hungry – just ask my wife), the GM asked where I was traveling from. Upon hearing that I traveled up from DC by train, he asked if I had eaten. I explained that I did not; but I would go out later in the evening. He walked me around to their small “market kitchen” and, pointing to a row of freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads, said “take whatever you want, on the house”. Not wanting to be greedy, I selected a small turkey wrap. He then placed a bottle of water and bag of chips in the bag saying that you can’t have just a sandwich, please take chips and water as well.
Now, the story doesn’t end there. The next morning as I was leaving my warm/cozy room headed out into the 12 degree snowy weather on a mission (you can imagine me whistling as I walked down the hall), I was greeted by the housekeeper. After extending a very pleasant “good morning” and asking “is your room comfortable and did you sleep OK” – to which I replied yes, thank you – she asked me this question “Can I do anything extra for you today?”. Quite taken aback, I said – No, everything is fine; but thank you for asking.
Upon returning to my room around 5PM and after knocking out some emails and a conference call, I got ready to head out for dinner a local restaurant I’d seen earlier in the day. That’s when I noticed something that caused me to say “Wow”. On the bathroom sink in addition to my toiletries being neatly arranged, I found a brand new tube of toothpaste. The housekeeper noticed that my travel size was getting low, so she replaced it. Not just w/any tube of toothpaste; but the exact brand and size I was traveling with – Aquafresh Orange.
What is point of this story? Our mission this year at Synergy is “To Make it Personal”. It’s the little “extra’s” we do for our guests and clients that make all the difference – not the fancy marketing slicks, website, apps. Honestly, I don’t remember much about my room other than it was clean and well appointed. However, it’s that small .99 cent tube of Aquafresh Orange + a free $5 lunch (both unexpected) that prompted me to give them a glowing review and when Jack goes to Malta next February after a snow storm, I’ll strongly encourage him to stay at the Hyatt Place.
Thank you for all your hard work. Continue to take care of our guests and clients by doing something extra and unexpected for them.
Introduction to our Guest Blogger: Debbie Visovsky has been working at Synergy for nine years. She started off as a Guest Service Representative and was then promoted to an Account Executive. She is currently our Special Project Coordinator and Inventory Manager. She is also the San Ramon office’s unofficial home baker, cake decorator and Food Coordinator/Consultant. She recently spent 4 days in Los Angeles at our featured property, The WaterMarke Tower, during which time she attended the 64th Primetime Emmy Award’s Red Carpet Event. She is our guest blogger this week and will share some of her favorite photos from the Red Carpet.
This is the 6th year that I have had the privilege of attending the Red Carpet Event at the Emmys. I go with my friends Jennifer, Patty, and Susan. It is a complicated annual trip that is never guaranteed as our seats depend completely on the lottery, hosting television channel, and pure luck.
We stayed at The WaterMarke Tower in downtown Los Angeles. This building is PHENOMENAL. It is as LA as LA gets with the modern and chic atmosphere. The basement is full of glitz and glamour. Level 7 has a gorgeous pool and a lovely Zen Garden. We stayed on the 18th floor of this 35 floor building and had a wonderful view. There was a Starbucks and Ralph’s across the street – very convenient!
The first year we attended the Emmys Red Carpet Event, we sat all cute and quiet and just took pictures. The following year we learned that if we holler people’s names and ask to take their picture then we will get outstanding personal photos of the stars actually looking at us. By the third year we started to have conversations with the celebrities. The four of us are extremely enthusiastic people and have hilarious photos of our favorite stars first waving with a bright smile, which quickly changed into looks of slight concern. We are currently up to the point where we can get our entire section to chant a celebrity’s name to get them to look at us.
This year the bleachers were along one long section of the Red Carpet, right at the entrance, and only went three rows deep. We sat front and center, directly across from Entertainment Tonight’s booth and near the E Live and ABC booths. We sat behind the E Countdown hosted by Kelly Osborne, Giuliana Rancic, and George Kotsiopoulos from E’s Fashion Police.
The stars started showing up around 2:00 PM and by 3:00 PM the carpet was packed. We hollered and waved and took pictures for two hours straight in very hot 102 degree weather. I felt so bad for the men in their dark, heavy suits and the women in their long, heavy gowns and make-up. It is always fun to see the celebrities in person. They are usually much thinner and prettier/more handsome, believe it or not! This year I was very excited to see Michael J. Fox and Tom Hanks. Jimmy Fallon wins for Friendliest Celebrity and, therefore, is always a Fan Favorite. Lucy Liu and Julianne Moore win for Most Beautiful. Nicole Kidman, Heidi Klum, and Padma Lakshmi are about a foot taller than everyone else on the red carpet and are absolutely stunning. I thought Leslie Mann was the Best Dressed along with Ginnifer Goodwin. Worst dressed was Claire Danes (Sorry! I know she is pregnant but that is NO excuse for such an unflattering frock!) followed by Elisabeth Moss. Here is a gallery of my favorite pictures I took from the event.
We had such a great time in Los Angeles at Watermarke, and of course on the red carpet at The Emmy Awards! This year was an experience I will never forget. I hope you’ve enjoyed my story and my pictures. Did you watch The Emmy Awards? Who are your favorite actors and actresses? Who did you think took best dressed? Please share your thoughts and comments with us in the section below!