Posts Tagged ‘Customer Service’

Customer Service at Its Best

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Customer Service at Its Best: Thank You Lorna Wright

Written by, Tony Mussari, Sr.
Photographs by, Tony Mussari Sr.
Edited by, Kitch Loftus Mussari
Copyright, 2016, Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD

Unless we can join forces and recognize each other’s humanity, how can we do business together let alone make progress. Daniel Lubetzky

On a bitter cold February afternoon, Kitch and I made our way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Monroe Township, NewHotel Sign_6959 Jersey. It was the first stop on our journey to the Wax Museum presented by members of the seventh grade class of the School in Cranbury, New Jersey.

Shortly after we arrived at the hotel I realized that I forgot my baby aspirins. I asked the woman at the reception desk, if I could purchase a bottle of baby aspirins in a vending machine. Her answer was negative.

At this point in our conversation Lorna Wright walked into the reception area. She quickly picked up on our conversation. When I explained the importance of baby aspirins to a recovering heart surgery patient, she took the initiative, and volunteered to help. She walked with me to the area where the vending machines are located. After carefully checking the inventory, she made this suggestion. I will see to it that you get a bottle of baby aspirins.

There was one complication. It was 4:30 and our hosts Adam MacMillan and his father, Doug, agreed to meet us in the lobby at 5 p.m. We would drive to a local Italian restaurant where Adam’s mother, Chivon, would meet us.

With a pleasant smile of understanding on her face, Lorna Wright put my mind at ease with these words. “That’s not a problem. I will drive to a local store and get the aspirins myself.”

I expressed my gratitude for her kindness and her willingness to help.


Less than 20 minutes later, Kitch and I were standing in the lobby exchanging hugs with Adam and Doug when the office door opened and Lorna Wright appeared carrying a small white bag.

She joined us in the lobby, and she gave me a container filled with Low Strength Analgesic Aspirin. I offered to reimburse her for the aspirins, but she politely declined. “I thank you for this opportunity to help you.”

At that point in our conversation, I mentioned my life-long interest in learning about and teaching the principles of customer service. I asked her what her definition of customer service is.

She replied with a classic insight. “customer service is giving the customer more than they expect to receive.”

Later in the evening, I asked Doug and Chivon to share their definitions of customer service.

Chivon is a very successful business executive. She offered this interpretation:
“Customer service – treating others the way you would want to be treated.”

Doug’s response provided another perspective:

“Do not reward poor customer service by continuing to give them your business! In today’s day and age, it is easy to find other providers of goods and services, who will provide a great customer experience, reward them with your business. When you find a business that does not provide great customer service. Talk with your feet! In other words leave and find their competitor who will surpass your expectations.”

If you have read our blog, you know that we have visited every one of the continental United States searching forLorna Kitch_6599 examples of the Face of America on its best day.

Without question, Lorna Wright is a classic example of America it its best.

She is caring, helpful, and kind. She looks beyond the obvious to solve problems. She takes the initiative to find answers to problems. She listens intently, and she is not dismissive or contentious. She is empathetic. She has that priceless quality that makes you believe that she cares about you.

Kitch and I will never forget her kind and welcoming way, and we will try in every way we can to reach her standard of excellence.

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Gettysburg Gifts: Part 3, Tim Johnson

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Gettysburg Gifts: Part 3, Tim Johnson

Written by Tony Mussari
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Photographs by Kitch Loftus-Mussari & Tony Mussari
Copyright 2013, Face of America, Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD

There is incredible value in being of service to others. Elizabeth Berg

Every now and then you meet someone who makes anIMG_7905_hotel indelible impression on your heart and soul.  That’s exactly what happened the day I met Tim Johnson, the manager of the Hampton Inn in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Tim is a quiet man, an unassuming man, a caring man, and a competent man. He has the perfect personality and temperament for the position he holds.

Tim Johnson is all about quality service for everyone who stays at the Hampton Inn.


How does he do it? He gives each guest more than they expect when they enter the door.  He puts a face behind the brand so they have a personal connection.  He trains his people in the art of customer service. He attends to the little things that people in a hurry often forget.

He is pleasant to his customers, because he believes they are entitled to a pleasant experience.

I have never had a conversation with Tim that has not included this question from him, “How can I help you?”

Everything about Tim speaks to his willingness toTim_7827_250 help people. It is not a formula or a strategy; it is a valued principle and a way of life.

During our visit in April 2012, he helped us convert a suite on the first floor into a classroom. We had our meetings there and we constructed a set in that room where living historians could perform and we could videotape their performance.

During our recent visit, the challenge was greater. The lobby of the Hampton Inn was being renovated. Signs of construction and repair were everywhere when we visited one week before our screening. Tim assured us, it would be presentable and functional on January 19, for our guests.


Arriving early to attend to many last minute details, Kitch and I observed Tim supervising the construction crew. He placed two large signs in the entrance; one apologized for any inconvenience the renovation would cause guests, the other welcomed our group from North Plainfield, New Jersey, our friends, family, former students and their parents.

He stayed until 10 p.m. one night to oversee the arrangement of furniture for the meet-and-greet event we had planned for the members of our group. He saw to it that everything was in place for the complimentary breakfast the next morning.

Then he took the extra step, he and his teenage daughter Cassandra attended both the screening and the banquet.

In my opinion, Tim Johnson is a genuine Face ofTim2_7827_250 America on its best day. He is a living breathing example of customer service at its best, and he is one of the genuine gifts of Gettysburg that made our screening a success. He and his wonderful staff make every visit to Gettysburg an enjoyable experience.

Would that everyone would attend Tim Johnson’s school of customer service. What a wonderful world it would be.

Thank You Tim
Thank You Ann
Thank You Mary
Thank You John

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