Posted by: deadmousediaries | July 4, 2012

One Room, Ocean View – a Kyd Pick from Mitchell Kyd

Corporate culture. Mission and vision. Taglines.  Market share. ROI. P&L. Customer focus. I spent a lot of years in Fortune 500 companies and have heard all the jargon. I’ve read all the books and attended all the seminars. I’ve watched all our CEO’s worship all the hot new gurus as they whirled around the revolving doors.  And I have translated all the rhetoric.

Here’s what I’ve discovered: there is no corporate identity, no  corporate culture. There are only people. And the best companies seem to attract or grow the people who choose to make their employers shine by bringing their A-game every day. We all run into this kind of individual in the places where we do business but on far too rare an occasion. When we do, we are always surprised. And sometimes we recognize that we have also been delighted.

I’ve issued other Kyd Picks in this space about exceptional moments in customer service… Today I had a moment of an unexpected delight at a restaurant that has grown into one of my regular haunts.

I never mind admitting that my favorite thing to make for dinner is a reservation.  My favorite thing to have for dinner is breakfast and that’s one of the reasons I have become a frequent flyer at our local Perkins Restaurant.  It doesn’t matter if that craving hits me at 8:00 am or 8:00 pm, I can still count on getting a fabulous plate of French toast at Perkins. Or a fresh veggie-filled omelet. Or a be-sure-to-bring-a-friend sized muffin.

   Perkins Promise of 100% guest satisfaction is the Company’s commitment to providing superior service to all customers each and every day, the company posts on its website. From my experience at the location in Chambersburg, PA, the company doesn’t do that; the employees do.

Today we were greeted by General Manager Mike Ferguson at a time when the outdoor temps had already spiked at 94 degrees.  When he asked about our seating preference, I was in need of a break and asked for an ocean view. You might think that request would be hard to fill in landlocked Pennsylvania but Mike never missed a beat. He led us past the tables, through the glass doors and into the empty meeting room. He seated me first, facing the wall.

 “Will that work?” he asked as he nodded to the seaside painting on the wall.

And there I was, dining at a Pennsylvania Perkins and enjoying my beautiful ocean view. I will confess that I’ve used that line on other occasions to set up my playful expectation of dining out but I have never once had a host or hostess be so quick to act on the opportunity to delight a customer.

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our world,” wrote author and motivator Napoleon Hill.  “It seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities  that were somehow absent before the change.”

Today a small gesture changed the tone of my day. Better yet, it added to the delight of others I encountered as I paid it forward. No matter what the business gurus call it – a shining moment, a moment of truth -the Mikes of the world are the ones who lift the printing off the page and turn the words customer focus into a verb. Thanks, Mike. I’m glad you were on duty. I  loved your room with a view.

Copyright 2012. Mitchell Kyd. All rights reserved.



  1. Love it! I’m going to put moments like that on my when-I-get-to-be-queen list for people who need a surprise lift. And everyone I like.

    • 8 ). Hope I will continue to be on the “like” list, Lynn! (Day THAT three times real fast!!) I have PJ night dates from both of you and am working to nail down something specific so we can get it on our calendars. I’m hedging a bit because the second bedroom is not a bedroom yet and I continue to evaluate how we would manage if we end up with one of these intolerable, sticky nights. (No AC here til I come up with another $7 grand.) The mornings are always fabulous but the evenings ? Sometimes not so much. Early September might be the ticket. Just know it IS taking shape! Happy Fourth. I’m already working on another story!

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4GLTE smartphone

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