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Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

It Doesn't Take a Lot to be More

Beth's PictureWith all the attention given recently to guest service, and the fact that I will speaking on "Party Host Selection and Training" at Bowl Expo this year. I felt it appropriate to re-run and article written (March 2009) by one of the smartest most beautiful women I know. She is a Senior Vice President at Bank of America. She has a business management degree from Texas A & M. She’s the eldest daughter of one of the most wonderful families I know. Please meet Leslie Standlee.

OK – Leslie is my daughter, and I’m so happy that she took time to share her travel story with me that I just had to share it with you. Les is a tremendous leader and manager and has been one of TrainerTainment’s biggest fans. Her insight has always helped me understand training in a way that, generationally, I might suffer a “gap” if not for her. I know you’ll enjoy her story, and you can reach her at

First Impressions Happen Only Once!

Traveling for business is not as glamorous as one might think. You spend long hours in the office, followed by long hours of drinks and dinner with work associates. Those evenings become a continuation of the work you walked away from at the office. There is no break or balance, so when it’s time to go home, you are ready to go home!

Today, I was leaving from a short 2 ½ day trip that felt more like 10 days. I walked across the parking lot and spotted a driver of one of the local car services in town. I waved and asked, “Can you take me to the airport?” His answer was very enthusiastic, as he ran over and told me that he’d been waiting for me all day, and, of course he could take me to the airport! Instantly I knew I was in good hands! He quickly whisked my heavy bags into the car and then made sure he was around the corner to open the door for me.

When I asked him if he accepted a credit card, he said, “Ma’am whatever you need, I’m here for you!” I was delighted that he did not breathe the normal heavy, irritated, sigh I so often hear from cab drivers. When we rolled to a stop light, he pulled out the credit card machine and took care of the transaction then, so there would be no wait time once we arrived at the airport. I was running right on schedule, so every minute counted! His energetic attitude was fantastic, and he seemed genuinely enthusiastic to help take care of me in every way. It was easy to understand that this guy’s total mission was to do everything he could to understand and deliver what was best for his customer.

While we were riding together, he shared his business philosophy with me. He told me that his goal was to never say no to the customer. His passion for the role he plays in taking care of those he transports around town is undeniable. It made it easy for me to decide what I would do on my next trip when he told me about his returning passenger service. He explained that all I needed to do is tell him my flight number. There will be no need to stress about airline delays or follow up calls. It is his commitment to track the flight, be there when I land, and call me upon his arrival. WOW–One phone call and I avoid the 20 minute cab line, ride in a clean comfortable car, and have the assurance that I’m in good hands!

When we arrived at the airport, he pulled out his business card and told me to look at his title. Underneath his name he had added “Director of First Impressions”. He told me it was all about that first interaction. He believes that he gets one chance to make sure he provides that top care for his customers. When he gets the first impression right, then it gives the customer every reason to only use his services.

He got my bags, helped me out of the car, and was sure to shake my hand before we parted. As soon as I got through security, I pulled out his card and programmed his number into my phone.

When you think about all of your interactions and experiences with people, remember the first impression is what matters most. My first impression today with this driver is that there is no substitute for service and passion for the things you do. All leaders could serve their staff and customers at high level when they apply this passionate service lesson in their day to day routines. I know I’m going to follow my driver’s example.



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  1. Paul Fleming on June 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    That is so true. Great article.

  2. Daniel Gutierrez on June 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I have met a few business people that could benefit from this article.

  3. Ruby on June 7, 2010 at 9:42 am


  4. Sandra on June 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Great article, Leslie!!

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