"To give someone the peace of mind that they are in good hands is always our goal. Whether it is legal services or life care services, we want our clients to feel that kind of experience with Van Dyck Law."
Last week, Fiona and I headed to sunny Orlando, Florida for the National Alliance of Attorneys for Alzheimer's Planning conference. The content was fresh, relevant and we were surrounded by attorneys from all over the nation who wanted to make a difference in their clients' lives. Fiona is one of the founding members of this organization and I cannot wait to see where it takes our firm in the future.
I took a lot away so much from this conference. The camaraderie between these professionals was inspiring and the information was exciting to implement to best serve our clients at Van Dyck Law. Something else that I took away from this conference is the reminder that day to day customer service in our society is not what it used to be. How many times do you walk into a store and no one even shares a smile? Does the cashier even look up and greet you as you approach the check out?
Our conference was in the Happiest Place on Earth. It was in Disney World. From the moment of arrival, there were smiles surrounding me from every "cast member" as they greeted me at the counter or passed me in the halls. I felt like an important person when I walked into the Disney Yacht Club Hotel, even though I was there for only days of a 3-day conference.
I spoke to my husband the evening I landed and said goodnight to my 5-year-old. My husband then said, "Mommy will bring you home Mickey Ears on Saturday!" My little one cheered in the distance on the phone call and once I hung up, I wondered on my limited time, how I would be able to do that with no form of transportation and the formal agenda I was following for my time at the conference in Disney. I went to the gift shop of the Yacht Club Hotel, and they had ears on headbands. But no true "Mickey Ears". I asked the woman at the counter if they had the traditional ones with the cap and the chin strap. She knew exactly what I was speaking of, but she confirmed they do not carry those any longer in that gift shop and it would probably have to be something we would get from one of the parks.
At the conference the next day, I shared with Fiona that I was not sure that I would find them on this trip. She suggested chatting with the concierge. On our next break, I visited the concierge desk and there was a line of about 5 people. While in line, I thought, "this is such a silly request, maybe I should just check at the airport or simply tell my little boy that where I was for the conference did not have the Mickey Ears he wanted." I told myself that he would understand. And he probably would have. As my mind was imagining how this conversation would go, a lovely concierge named Shannon approached me and smiled. She asked what she could do for me today and that she was happy to assist. I shared my ear saga with her and the fact that I had been to the gift shop to no avail. She said she would be happy to call around to see who carried the ears we were looking for, but she couldn't make any promises that she would find them. I said to her that I would appreciate that so much and gave her my phone number and told her to call me if "The Eagle Has Landed" and by chance she found them, I would make arrangements to pay for them and pick them up from her.
The conference went on and it was a truly magical day, even in a conference! Great information, great service, great food and great company. All the makings of a great work day. No call from Shannon at that point. "Well I did give it a shot", I thought, as I headed to my room to change my clothing for dinner. When I walked in my room at 5:30 pm, there on the dresser was a Disney shopping bag with a note that read, "THE EAGLE HAS LANDED" and it was signed by Shannon. Inside of the bag were the classic Mickey Ears that I described to her! I was completely shocked and overwhelmed that she made that happen for me.
The next morning upon checking out I felt I had to personally thank Shannon. I saw her at the desk, and she was with a customer and I looked at her and thanked her for what she did. A feeling of gratitude came over me and literally brought me to tears. She smiled and we waved goodbye as I headed to the last part of my conference before I headed to the airport. I briefly stopped to store my suitcase at the bell services and Shannon ran up to me and apologized that she was with a customer and couldn't properly respond. I thanked her again and got so emotional that I was moved to tears. She was happy to see my reaction, and we hugged. I told her she made my weekend and I would never forget that kindness that she showed me.
I understand this is the Disney way of doing things and that Shannon does things like this for people all the time, but the impact this ONE gesture had on me will stay with me for the rest of my life. I told Fiona about my experience and she said that is how she wants her clients to feel. Absolutely taken care of with no worries. She practices this kindness daily with all her clients. It is the culture of our firm. It made me stop and realize we are surely doing some great work in our office, making sure every client feels they are listened to, and truly taken care of with a smile and a hug. To give someone the peace of mind that they are in good hands is our goal. Whether it's legal services or life care services, we want our clients to feel that kind of experience with Van Dyck Law.
Sheli Monacchio-Director of Life Care Resources