Extra Milers, Favorite Folks, Motivation

Service – Above and Beyond

1 Comment 02 March 2011

Margaret AtterTitle: Receptionist/Member Services Specialist.

Job: Making Magic Moments.

Margaret Atter joined ClubCorp 29 years ago, and has been serving members at the company’s University Club, a private city club in Jacksonville, Florida for the last 27 of those years.

An Extra Miler, in the true sense, Margaret personifies Discretionary Effort, or “OOMPH!”, as we call it in our book, Contented Cows Moove Faster.

Last week, Margaret was recognized by the North Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, with its Rose Award, in the category of Guest Services – Private Clubs. The Rose Award is the top award for service excellence in the hospitality industry in this region. She was nominated by her club manager, Hank Carrico, based on her years of remarkably excellent service delivery – service that is evidenced by more than 1,300 positive comments made to management about Margaret over the course of just the last ten years or so.

Here’s just one example of the kind of Extra Miler service that Margaret coordinates, on a routine basis, for University Club members. Not long ago, a member hosted a birthday dinner for the daughter of friends. The honoree was born with Down Syndrome, and the occasion was her 40th birthday. Margaret said, “Let’s make this event really special.” She organized special decorations for the party’s table, had the club staff sign an oversized birthday card for the woman, and arranged for her favorite meal – chicken fingers and fries – which isn’t exactly on the University Club’s regular menu. At the end of the dinner, the birthday girl put her head on her mom’s shoulder, and through tears, said, “This is the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

Magic Moments. It’s part of ClubCorp’s avowed mission – creating Magic Moments for their members and their guests. Margaret told me, “I love this job. Service is what I do. It’s all I’ve ever done. I get a kick out of taking care of our members. I love making memories.”

Have you got “Margarets” in your organization? If so, take a lesson from Hank, and the rest of the team at ClubCorp and the University Club. Hire people with a passion for service (like Margaret); give them a clear, compelling mission (like Making Magic Moments); give them the tools and latitude to do the job (like serving chicken fingers instead of filet mignon); support and reward them when they go above and beyond (like Hank did in nominating Margaret to be among the 250 people considered for the Rose Award); and then get out of their way. Because they’re comin’ through to knock the socks off your customers!

Richard Hadden is a leadership speaker, author, and consultant who helps organizations improve their business results by creating a great place to work. He and Bill are the authors of the acclaimed business classic Contented Cows Give Better Milk, and Contented Cows MOOve Faster, and the brand new book Rebooting Leadership. Learn more about them and their work at ContentedCows.com.

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- who has written 105 posts on Contented Cows.


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  1. eric affeldt says:

    Way to go Margaret! Congratulations


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