George Michael

George Michael

The waiter in the restaurant puts down the sushi bowl and gives me his broad smile once again. “What is your favorite George Michael song?” I ask him. He does not have to think about that for long. And he answers that secretly, he is a bigger fan of Engelbert Humperdinck. But that George Michael is his mother’s favorite and therefore he heels he has to put this artist on his name tag.


In the All-Inclusive HardRock hotel in Mexico, where I stay for a nice speaking assignment, all staff wears a nameplate. Something I saw in Disney last year in the hotel, where colleagues mentioned their passion next to their name. What varied from Russian, to dogs to jazz music. In this hotel in Mexico, the name of the staff member is mentioned next to their favorite artist. This fits perfectly with the theme of the hotel and it opens the door for a chat very easily.


Orlyss, the name of the waiter, happily chats about Engelbert Humperdinck, his mother and the link to George Michael. If I am very honest, I do not know any music from his great hero Engelbert, and I truthfully admit that. He quickly switches to another topic, because you cannot embarrass the guest. So he asks for my favorite music. It’s a good thing, I do not work in this hotel, because I’m not a fan of just one artist or band. I think again – and he reminds me with a wink that I look a little bit angry when I think – and bursts out laughing again. “Bruce Springsteen” I say quickly.


What a gift this waiter is. Of course, he has a happy mood. He knows exactly how to serve, and he knows the menu by heart. He is a Pro. But his employer made it easy for him to make the connection. By giving him this name tag with his favorite artist. It makes it so easy for me to chat, connect and even have a better stay. Now that I think about it a couple of months later, I do not know if I would have started a conversation without it. Just after my sushi, I would have said thank you and would have given him a small tip.


But not tonight. Orlyss gets a fat tip. The tip that I give you and all companies: make it easy for your staff with a nameplate and put the ‘something’ underneath their names. Favorite animal in the pet store, favorite beauty vlogger in the makeup department or your favorite car at the dealership. It is a real conversation opener. It works at Disney, HardRock and it will also work for you!


This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on November 28th, 2018


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