The Stranger Within Our Gates

Several years ago, my business travels took me to Frisco, Texas, where I stayed in a beautiful, brand-new Embassy Suites hotel. Upon entering my room, I was warmly greeted by a card placed upon my bed printed with the following message:

In ancient times, there was a prayer for “The Stranger Within Our Gates.”  Here is ours for you, our guest: 

Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money-making organization, we hope that you will be granted peace and rest while you are under our roof. 

May this room and hotel be your “second” home.  May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams.  Even though we may not get to know you personally, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you our way prosper.  May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy.  When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers.  From birth to death, we travel between eternities.  May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.

I stood for a moment after reading it… contemplating the words and the sentiment.  The energy created by these words and the subsequent thoughts they inspired in me was unexpected and a brief but welcome respite at the end of a long day of travel. I was moved by the spirit and intimacy of this message and re-read it several times over my five-day stay at the hotel.

I was reminded of how sometimes such small communications can create such high emotional impact and shape, reshape or support client loyalty and feelings of connection.  This is what all of our clients want at the core:  connection and understanding. When we successfully appeal to the common values we share with clients, they feel connected to and understood by us.

This week, explore the ways you are communicating to clients your shared values and get creative with different methods of demonstrating that connection to them in your materials, your verbal skills, your service skills.  Look for unique ways similar to this hotel, to gently surprise and delight your clients in ways your competition won’t.

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business.  He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi



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