My flight out of Las Vegas was scheduled at 6 AM. That meant I had to be up before four to get there in time.
The night before I laid out my clothes, left my toothbrush and toothpaste in the bathroom, and packed everything else away. I positioned my bags right by the hotel room door. I left the closet door open, so I’d see my jacket hanging there on the rod. I even pre-loaded the little coffee maker and left a thank you note and a few bucks for the housekeeper so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning.
When the alarm chirped at O’Dark thirty in the morning, I was ready.
I dragged myself out of bed, hit the button on the coffee machine, washed my face, brushed my teeth, pulled my clothes on, grabbed my backpack and my rollaboard, and headed down to the lobby with a cup of hot coffee in my hand.
I zipped through express checkout, grabbed a Lyft, and got to the airport lickety-split. TSA Pre guided me around the lines of tourists fumbling for their documents and I passed through security quickly. Everything was going according to plan.
It wasn’t until I was putting my watch back on and dropping my cell phone back into my pocket that I realized I’d left my jacket hanging in the hotel closet.
“Damn it!! How could I be so stupid? I do this all the time; I should know better. I knew I needed to grab my jacket. What an idiot!”
Then I remembered my friend Dave was still at the conference – he had booked a later flight and wasn’t checking out for a few more hours. I texted him:
“GM Dave. Sorry to bug you. I’m at the airport and left my jacket in the hotel, room 3400. Could you please check with the front desk and see if you can get it for me? Sorry and thanks.”
He responded a few minutes later:
Okay, maybe I’ll get my jacket back now, I thought. I can stop beating myself up. I made my way to the plane.
45 minutes passed and I got another text from Dave.
That’s all he wrote. “On it.” “Got it.” Four words that said everything I needed to know. It was a perfect example of perfect communication.
Sure, Dave could have written more, but he knew that I was probably scrambling through security and that I was probably irritated about leaving my jacket in the hotel. Instead of burdening me with more information or questions to answer, he told me everything I needed to know to feel good about what was going on and not distract me from what I needed to do at the moment.
Dave was not only willing to do what I asked, but he actually took the time to think about me and how he could best serve my needs. And he did it quickly and efficiently without self-aggrandizement, added drama, or anything unnecessary.
Once we got home and I got my jacket back, Dave told me the story of his interaction at the front desk, his dealings with security and housekeeping, and the hoops he had to jump through to get my coat. And because I now had the time to chat with him, I was interested and entertained to hear what he went through. Once again, his timing was perfect. He gave me what I wanted and needed when I wanted and needed it.
What I discovered was not only that Dave’s the go to guy when I need to get something done, but that he actually takes the time to think about me and what my needs and wants are. What’s more, Dave’s actions made me reflect on how I communicate with others in conversation, emails, and even blog posts like these.
I hope there are some good suggestions in here for you, too. After all, THAT’S why I write these blogs in the first place. Giving people what they want and need, WHEN they want and need it, is the key to good communication and great customer service. And it’s the key to letting people know that you’re thinking about them and care about what’s best for them too.