3 M&Ms, a Picture of Bacon and What This Has to Do With Customer Service

When you make an online reservation at a hotel, the special requests section usually consists of a pre-determined list that typically includes a rollaway cot, non-smoking room or a mini-fridge. When Dustin Wray saw The Woodlands Resort had a write-in form field for special requests, he just couldn’t help himself.

The request he wrote was “three red M&Ms on the counter. Not packages, just three single M&Ms. One for me, one for my girlfriend and one to split if we get hungry late at night. And a picture of bacon on the bed. I love pictures of bacon.”

“I wrote it so that if they saw it they would laugh because it was stupid, but also to make it feasible if they actually wanted to fulfill it,” Wray told ABCNews.com.

And much to Wray’s surprise, the resort staff actually did. Not only were there three perfectly-aligned red M&Ms waiting on the counter when they arrived, but there was also a framed picture of bacon snuggled cozily up against the pillows on the queen-size bed.

A little bit in shock and perhaps a little embarrassed that he made the crazy request in the first place, Wray didn’t bring up the resort’s above and beyond fulfillment while he was there. He didn’t leave a tip in the room either.

One Good Deed Deserves Another

“As we were driving home, I felt like a jerk,” Wray told ABCNews, so he decided to share his exceptional experience at The Woodlands’, with photos, on Reddit. In four hours, the post had more than 80,000 views and The Woodlands’ was getting numerous interview requests.

Instead of everyone just being thrilled, The Woodlands reached out to Wray again to offer him a future free stay at the resort. “If we can bring joy to somebody, why not,” the resort’s manager told ABCNews.

Wray said he wouldn’t test The Woodlands next time because they’d already proved their merit, but he may make an out-of-the ordinary request to another business in the future just to see if the company cares.

Those that do and are willing to go the extra mile to delight their customers, may be delighted in turn by the gift of brand advocacy.

Said  American entrepreneur and author, Jim Rohn, “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” This story makes the case that it’s true.

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