Live service…

Thank you Diana, Jeff, Jennifer, and Angela. Thank you.

Nine years ago Miss and I were on the last day celebrating our 25th anniversary with Backroads cycling on a tour of the Loire Valley. We were having the time of our lives, when everything changed with a phone call. Sister Sue called to tell us her husband, Gayle, was gone. Gayle had died of a massive heart attack while  playing water basketball with our son, Taylor, and his son, Cameron. In an instant we went from living the dream to a horrific nightmare. We had to get home and we were in the middle of nowhere, France. These fantastic four (Diana, Jeff, Jennifer, Angela) lived service. They got us home somewhat whole. Here, again, is their story…

Diana was the first person I met from Backroads. She has a can do attitude and lives service. Angela was her Backroads partner for the week. She was the perfect match for Diana. Jeff was a nice guy from Chicago. A successful businessman I’m sure, even though he never said so. Jennifer was unbelievable. We called her “one of the sisters” because she was riding with her sister from New York. Jennifer was from L.A. and did not fit the part.

These fantastic four were our angels nine years ago. Jeff gave me his phone charger and allowed Miss to make all her calls to family and me to the planes, trains, and automobiles. Jennifer gave me a hug. She gave me a hug right when I really needed it. Do you know what I mean? I was hurting. She sensed it. Others did too. She acted. Very cool. Angela and Diana did it all. They gave us a great week touring the French countryside. They thought of everything on this trip. Talk about smiles, these two had contagious ones. They never ceased to amaze me with how easy they made it all seem. Then we got “the call.” Even I didn’t know what to expect from these two Angels.

I don’t know why I ever doubted.

Before they returned back from their road trip gathering the next days picnic lunch, they had arranged for a 5:30 am pickup by car. Not just any pickup mind you. They made sure we had a man to take us to our platform. A man who spoke French, not English, and had a heart for people. He not only took us to the platform, he helped us get our tickets. Angela and Diana also arranged for our train back to Paris. They made all this happen with 22 other people to care for. At 5:30 it was dark and cool. The taxi arrived, Angela and Diana were there too. They didn’t have to get up to see us off. They both chose to. Their kindness will never be forgotten.

I have a client that uses the slogan “we live service.” Angela and Diana do not have a slogan – they just live it. Their service created a loyal customer named Chet & Missi. We will be Backroads customers for life. We will be sending friends, family, and clients their way forever. In fact, one of my clients just returned from a Backroads tour of Normandy and another is headed to Italy later this fall. It is so rare to receive personal service, the kinda service that feels like a warm hug when you’re hurting. You and I never, ever forget personal service. Do we?

How does your team live service?

When a crisis occurs with your clients how do you react?

Do you understand the power that comes with a “real” hug?

What work are you willing to delay to “recharge” a member of your team?

Diana, Jeff, Jennifer, and Angela are seared in our memories.

What are you “searing” in the memories of your customers, teams, family, and friends?


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