Providing Remarkable Services


I am a big Seth Godin fan.  His blog is one of the few that I read faithfully every day.  It always has something insightful and/or thought-provoking about marketing and customer service that you can actually put to use.

January 1st of 2012 marked a new chapter for the student housing professionals of Capstone On-Campus On this date, the various student housing divisions of Capstone Companies (founded in 1990) were split into four separate entities – a movement resulting from the semi-retirement of Mike Mouron, the founder/president of Capstone Companies.   In the process, the leadership of Capstone On-Campus was enhanced to include long-time key personnel of other divisions of Capstone Companies.

One of the first things we did with our revamped company was to take a close look at how we worked with each other every day.  So, we asked everyone to write out a list of “promises” they would like to see made by their colleagues.  To make it more interesting, we asked our site staff to write these out for our home office staff (what they would like the people who support them to promise to do), and conversely, our home office staff for our site staff.  The result was a list of what we call our six, “I Promise” statements that we all have signed off on to live by in our daily work.

Now here is where this circles back to Seth Godin…

When we were drafting these promises, I recalled a Seth Godin blog in which he talked about “remarkable service.”  Here is the blog:
“…but what really blew me away…”
(Seth Godin Blog 10/9/11)
A simple fill in the blank for creating a remarkable service, partnership or experience:

“I was pleased that I got what I paid for, that the food was properly cooked, that they honored their contract, that the roller coaster worked, that there was no trash on the ground and that the staff looked me in the eye. But what really blew me away was _____”

By definition, whatever goes in the blank is an extra, more than you had to do. But what you must do to be considered remarkable. (Remarkable is what we call something we remark on).

So, we decided to incorporate this concept into Capstone On-Campus Management’s “Promise #2.” Here is what we came up with:

To strive to provide services that are remarkable to my colleagues, residents, and clients.

What has been interesting is to see how this promise, coupled with our overall company objective of “excelling in all we do,” has motivated our personnel to go the extra mile and provide remarkable services.   While we all have areas we can improve on, this one promise has been a great motivator for us to go the extra mile, and ensure we are providing services that go beyond what simply is expected, but rather “remarkable.”

In case you are interested, here are all six of Capstone On-Campus’s “I Promise” statements:

• To pursue excellence in all that I do.  I will not accept mediocrity.
• To strive to provide services that are remarkable to my colleagues, residents, and clients.
• To respond to your email or phone call within 24 hours.  I may not have an answer, but I will at least give you a reasonable estimate on when I will.
• To seek to understand your situation before I ask you to understand mine.
• To be fair, honest, and accountable (including owning my mistakes).
• To support, encourage, and mentor those around me.

What stories do you have on providing remarkable services to your students and how did it make a difference?