60 Doughnuts and Amazing Customer Service

Kidzania in the Dubai Mall
Kidzania in the Dubai Mall

A while ago when on assignment in Dubai, I joined my colleague Inge in the pursuit of acquiring 60 doughnuts (how could I possibly say no!). Inge wanted to get doughnuts to thank the colleagues whom supported her throughout the recovery from a foot injury.

Just before lunch and after some quick online research, we make our way to Dubai Mall where we hope to find a Krispy Kreme branch. When we get to the mall and ask where we can find it, we are told that Krispy Kreme closed quite some time ago.

We sit down to figure out what to do. I mention that I have this concierge service with my Amex card that I rarely use, and I suggest I call them to ask if there are any doughnut shops nearby.

I call Amex, and their representative says she will look into this and get back to me within 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Inge manages calls Dunkin’ Donuts. They say they have a shop within KidZania. So, what’s KidZania?

Apparently some kind of place that won’t let you in unless you buy a ticket….

Inge talks to the entrance staff, who are quite firm on the ticket requirement. After a while, they get hold of the duty manager – Mr Volkan. Mr Volkan is a very friendly guy, who comes out to greet us and offers to sort out the doughnuts! He has even taken pictures of the doughnuts that he shows us on his phone.

Whilst Volkan swipes through the doughnuts on his phone, Amex gets back to me. Whilst I am on the phone, Inge and Volkan go and get the doughnuts. The Amex lady tells me that there is a doughnut shop in KidZania. I confirm she is very right, and say that under normal circumstances we would have needed a ticket.

The Amex lady makes a friendly interruption and says that she has spoken to the duty manager of KidZania who have said he would be happy to let us in to get the doughnuts!

Suddenly, I understand that the request by my colleague to speak to the duty manager came as no surprise to him. Amex had already informed him about our mission.

On a personal level, this makes me happy – an employee who clearly loves her job and on this occasion went beyond her call of duty. The same could be said about the duty manager who was very accommodating.

On a professional level, it gives me hope that in an era of efficiency drives and cost cutting, there are still people who are empowered and want to deliver amazing customer service. This gives me hope that there are still businesses that understand the Moment of Truth*.

So, thank you Inge for giving me the opportunity to get this extraordinary experience on an ordinary day!

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Carlzon#cite_note-50k-9

Getting the Basics Right

You are selling strawberries at a busy farmers’ market, and you are advertising them as ready to eat.

One of your first customers points out that the strawberries are not washed, and asks if you can provide water or wash the strawberries prior to selling them.

You acknowledge there is an issue, and promise to think about it. However, bringing running water (or running away to wash the strawberries) requires effort. So you decide against it.

The weather is warm, and suddenly the ice cream stall across the street is becoming very popular. You decide to offer complimentary ice cream to your patrons. You phone a friend, asking her to drive past the supermarket and buy ice cream for your stall.

The ice cream arrives, and you start serving up strawberries with complimentary ice cream. Still with a sandy aftertaste…