05/10/2016 11:53 EDT | Updated 05/11/2017 05:12 EDT

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Take five minutes today to do something special for a customer, a coworker, a client, or even a stranger. You'll be amazed at how well it works.

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Every time Norm walked into the bar at Cheers; he was recognized by name. It was the place where everyone knew your name, and it felt like home. And for Norm, he certainly spent a lot of time there, and I'm sure it felt like home for several reasons, just one of them was how it made him feel.

A couple of weeks ago I was a guest at The Castle Hill Inn in Rhode Island.

As I entered the front lobby about 10 pm, I was greeted by name by a welcoming and friendly employee. Naturally, I was surprised, and immediately impressed. My first thoughts were that clearly the Inn wasn't busy at this time of year, and I had to be the last guest to check in.

I thought it was a nice touch.

The next morning as I walked into the breakfast room, I was once again greeted by name. Only this time I thought to myself that I must be the only female in the entire Inn.

As you can probably guess, this continued to happen. The Inn was not desolate, and there were many female guests, so I was incredibly curious how they were able to recognize each guest, greet them by name, and have a conversation with them. I was asked how their weather compared to my Canadian March weather. So now they not only recognized me, but they knew information about me?

Of course, I had to ask how they did that. It seems that someone on staff creates a report on every single guest, including photos and information with which the staff can make conversation. The staff study the information and clearly use it.

The Air Canada Super-Elite Concierge at the Winnipeg airport does the same thing. They know what I look like, and great me by name as I'm walking down the hall. I'm welcomed back to Winnipeg, and they know if I'm staying or continuing on. I'm in Winnipeg only two to three times a year.

I feel like I'm 10 feet high when I'm made to feel so special.

Why don't more companies do that? How many times do we call down to the front desk to say that Mr. X will be arriving at noon, and to please sign him in, and call someone who will come down to greet them? How hard would it be for someone to Google the guests name and find out what they look like (and maybe a little bit about them), so they can greet them personally as they walk into the front lobby?

Or in a doctors or dentist's office, as you walk in, have the receptionist recognize you instead of asking if you have an appointment.

When I present my store loyalty card when shopping, why am I not thanked for being a faithful customer?

I like being greeted when I enter a place of business. I even like hearing "Welcome Back" even if it is my first time in the store because it makes me feel like they are happy to see me (even if they have never seen me before). My name is very personal, and I like when I am addressed respectfully by my name, and if you take a minute to find out a thing or two about me, then I really feel like I matter to your place of business.

It amazes me how easy it is to stand out from the crowd, yet so few companies actually try.

Take five minutes today to do something special for a customer, a coworker, a client, or even a stranger. You'll be amazed at how well it works.


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