I recently visited Los Angeles to spend some time with my favourite voice over coach, Nancy Wolfson, and to record a brand new commercial demo which will feature on this site just as soon as production is complete.
It was a short trip, but so much fun. I flew in on Thursday, had a frantic day of activity on Friday and then returned home on Saturday. Granted, demos can be recorded remotely, and I did have the means, but I was in the mood for an adventure, so I had one.
Now I’ll be talking more about some of the fun that I had in future blogs, but for now I want to talk about the one thing that struck me immediately upon arrival, and that is American customer service.
Now I could talk about the welcome I received from the car rental place and the hotel receptionist, but what I want to focus on here are the waiters – particularly those in the trendier restaurants.
From start to finish, the entire experience of visiting their restaurant is a show. They’re brimming with enthusiasm. They want to tell you all about the specials of the day, even new cocktails that they’re offering for the first time, and they’ll check that you’re enjoying your experience on a regular basis.
It might all sound a bit much – like a bad visit to a UK TGI Fridays (I don’t suspect there’s a good visit), but I actually really liked it. I felt appreciated as a customer and what’s more, I was genuinely entertained by it.
It’s important to point out of course, that this is Hollywood, which means that a lot of waiters are hopeful actors – they don’t know who they are serving and just in case that person happens to be casting the next major blockbuster, it is in their interests to be at their best.
It got me thinking though, that this really should not be thought of as a bad thing. See, it really doesn’t matter who you are serving – they are all customers, and as such, deserve your best attention just as long as they are in your place of business. Maintain that mentality, and everyone will talk about your business and what a pleasure it is to work with you, and then we all know what happens don’t we? That’s right – even more customers.
Simple really, but every once in a while it deserves repeating.
Join me next time when I’ll tell you all about hanging out with the creators of my favourite cartoon – it’s a great story, I promise!