In Louisiana, they call it lagniappe. It’s a wonderful word describing those unexpected little extras we receive now and again.
At the Indianapolis B2B Marketers October panel discussion, a restaurant’s server delivered some lagniappe that doubled as an excellent lesson for marketers. Following a delicious lunch at the downtown Ruth’s Chris, the panelists engaged in lighthearted sparring about the petite cheesecakes provided as the day’s dessert. Panelist Michael Reynolds hadn’t touched his, and he jokingly expressed a preference for crème brulee.
The discussion moved on to more serious topics, then came to a complete halt five minutes later when the server emerged from the kitchen and set a freshly prepared dish of crème brulee in front of Reynolds. He was speechless, and everyone else applauded.
Here’s the thing: the server didn’t stand to gain anything personally by her gesture. It was a group function, and her tip had already been figured into the bill. But she saw an opportunity to demonstrate her employer’s reputation for extraordinarily attentive service.
That crème brulee probably cost Ruth’s Chris two or three bucks at most. The impression it left on everyone in the room was immeasurable. Several dozen marketing professionals won’t forget the simple gesture of kindness and the powerful demonstration of service. And the next time they’re in search of the perfect setting for a group dinner?
Is your organization’s entire team empowered to demonstrate what sets you apart from the rest? Are they primed to listen for opportunities to dazzle your customers? And is your leadership willing to sacrifice three bucks’ worth of crème brulee ingredients to capture thousands in future business?