Written for TakeON! by Maggie Judge of Insight Advisor Group
Albert Einstein said “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” It’s a quote that is easy to agree with, but harder to put into practice when actually IN the middle of a crisis!
My friend Mary shared an experience from a business trip to Chicago. On the second morning, she woke up anticipating a very important client meeting. When she got to her rental car it wouldn’t start. She panicked and called the rental place, but it was no help at all. The response was simple and matter-of-fact. “You didn’t purchase premium roadside service, so we can’t get anyone out there for a couple hours”. She negotiated with them to no avail.
Mary’s nerves were shot. She was 45 minutes away from her client and saw the long line of 12-15 business people waiting for cabs outside the hotel. She walked into the main lobby door. Penny, the woman at the front desk, noticed her distress and asked "Is everything OK? What can I do for you?"
Mary outlined her dilemma to Penny. “I don't know how I am going to get to my meeting. I am going to be late!” she explained. Penny’s response was immediate - "No, you’re not, I will be right back". Penny disappeared for a couple of minutes.
When she came back she said "Mary, here is what we are going to do”. Penny called Raphael over and said “He will take you to the rental center over on 22nd Street where they will give you a new car. You get in that new rental car and get to your meeting on time. We will take care of getting the broken down car back to the rental center so you don't have to worry about that – Have a fabulous day and good luck at your meeting!”
Mary will always go back to that hotel because Penny made a huge difference in what started as a very stressful, emotionally charged situation; turning her challenge into a fantastic, memorable occasion. A natural outcome also is the opportunity for the hotel as Mary won’t stay anywhere else, they will get repeat business and word of mouth referrals.
When have you experienced a similar occasion? I encouraged Mary to write a letter to the hotel about Penny and the positive experience. Next time someone turns a challenge around for you, find out how you can let more than just them know how much you appreciate it.