These days when you have a pleasant experience with any company, it’s almost a shock rather than the norm.  Often times, there is a huge disconnect between what the advertising messages say about the company and what the company actually delivers.

Last week while staying at the Marriott  Renaissance Waterfront Hotel in Boston,  I saw a company where the customer service experience actually was better than the advertising.  Why? Because everyone from the front desk clerk to the banquet staff to the general manager all relay the same simple message: “We want to make our customers happy.”

An example: standing around talking to a few folks for continental breakfast, one of my colleagues noted that she really wanted yogurt but it wasn’t part of the offering.  I suggested she ask one of the servers who had been so helpful to me the day before.  Before she could do that, a yogurt appeared.  The server said he’d overheard the conversation and just went and got one and hoped she was happy.  That was what Tony Hsieh of Zappos would call a “Wow” moment.

This positive experience was just one of many outstanding encounters.  The front desk clerk who checked me in listened to my story about how confusing their directions to get there were so he upgraded my room.  I wasn’t asking for that–just wanted to make a suggestion for how it could be clearer for the next person.  He was sorry that this had been confusing and wanted to make my next interaction less stressful.

The next day, one of the banquet staff spent several minutes tracking me down to make sure I got the lunch sandwich selection that had run out because she had found another one.  I thanked her for going above and beyond and her response was: ” I just want to make sure that our guests are happy.”  See a pattern here.