As a business owner, providing a memorable customer experience is and always will be my number one priority. So, how can I enhance hospitality in an era of non-verbal communication hidden behind a mask?

Don’t get me wrong. I am a big supporter of masks. In the current pandemic environment, I believe masks are the number one defense to help combat coronavirus.

Start with a smile

However, recently it occurred to me that I miss the smiles and warmth that accompany unmasked faces. Today, more than ever, actions need to speak louder than words…or should I say…smiles.

Recently my “bubble of friends” and I ventured out for dinner at an indoor restaurant. The lure of good sushi and the need for a break from cooking compelled us to break our rule to dine solely at establishments with outside seating.

The power of remembering someone by name

Once seated, a masked server came to our table to introduce herself. Brook, our server, looked me in the eye and said, “You’re Robert!” Wow, what an impact that had on me.

I was taken back since I did not recognize her from behind the black mask.

I replied, “You’re good! You remember me?” I caught a slight squint of conspiracy and noted the wheels were turning in her head.

“No,” she replied. “I thought I recognized you and I asked someone in the back for your name.”

In that moment I felt extra special. She made the effort to know my name before coming to our table. That little extra effort stays with me a week later. Her exemplary customer service certainly created a memorable dining experience for me.

Small actions create memorable experiences

I will keep Brook’s smile in mind as I continue to evolve the concept of Coworking As A Service model for EnCorps Partner’s flagship property, Cowork KCI.

From behind her mask, Brook reminded me that when it comes to customer service, it’s the small things that create better customer experiences.  And most times, it’s as simple as a smile and remembering your customer’s name.

Robert Curland
Robert Curland