I had been asked to attend a late afternoon meeting with a client in a different part of the city to which my office is located. I decided to drive to the meeting so that I could drive home. As luck would have it, a one hour metered carpark was available immediately outside the client's building.
Upon arrival the receptionist asked where I had parked. I informed her that I had parked in the one hour zone out the front of the building.
I was shown to the meeting room and some cool, fresh water was provided. I was informed that the person I was meeting had been held up in another meeting off-site and was on his way, possibly being 30 minutes late.
The moment that mattered
Prior to the arrival of my client, the receptionist popped her head back into the meeting room and asked whether it would be okay for her to pop downstairs to 'feed the meter' for me.
I had started to wonder how I was going to manage the parking situation given that a large period of my 60 minutes had been 'chewed up' waiting for my client to arrive. The awareness of the receptionist, Crystal, to help me was just terrific. Crystal realised that I might be starting to worry about my car and that the parking issue could end up being a problem for me should the meeting last longer than the now available 30 minutes.
To me Crystal's actions highlight the importance of awareness and how it is directly linked to service excellence. Crystal could not control whether my client's availability, but she was able to control her awareness to relieve a problem before it occurred.
That is exactly what awareness does. It 'heads problems off at the pass', before they have a chance to take effect.
What are your examples of how awareness has both enhanced service excellence and resolved a problem before it occurred?