This is part of our occasional series called CX Stories, which are personal accounts by COPC Inc. employees about their own positive customer experience. This story is from James Cammareri, vice president, business development, COPC Inc.
This past September, my father, Andrew Cammareri, turned 90. Leading up to the big day, I asked him how he wanted to celebrate this milestone, and he had just one answer: he wanted to travel to Atlanta to see the Braves play in their new stadium. My father and I share a love of baseball and, especially, the Atlanta Braves. During the season, we talk almost every day about the success or failure of our team.
My father and his wife, Maureen, live in St. Augustine, FL, while I live in New Jersey. Some serious logistics were going to be involved in fulfilling my father’s birthday wish. As a frequent business traveler, I took on the responsibility of finding the best flights and getting our hotel booked. I had decided on the Marriott Gateway hotel, located at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. With the Atlanta SkyTrain, this location gave everyone the convenience of traveling from airport to hotel and back without having to deal with taxicabs or shuttles. I also knew Marriott was a top-notch property that we’d all enjoy.
The morning of the big day, my father, his wife and I stood outside of the hotel while we waited for our Uber to arrive. While we waited, we got to talking with one of the Marriott valet employees. Considering we were completely decked out in Braves gear, he suspected we might be headed to the game, and my dad welcomed the opportunity to talk some baseball.
I explained that our trip was in celebration of my dad’s 90th birthday, and our conversation quickly caught the ear of Correda, the valet supervisor. She wished my dad a happy birthday and asked him a few questions about our trip, about his love of the Braves, and she even snuck in a couple of questions about the length of our stay and about his room number. Now, working in the customer management industry for almost three decades, the question about the room number had me wondering what she might have planned, although my dad and Maureen thought nothing of it.
Soon our ride arrived, and we were off to the game. We had a great time! We cheered on our team, sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch and the Braves won handily, 7-3. We got back to the hotel late that afternoon looking to celebrate the victory with a nice dinner before everyone would fly back home the next morning. But before dinner, I walked my father and Maureen back to their room. Upon entering, Maureen noticed someone had left a gift on the desk for dad.
Correda, the valet supervisor, had left an Atlanta Braves mug and a lovely handwritten note. She wrote, “Mr. Cammareri, I’m hoping that your 90th birthday, like your lifetime, is full of love from friends & family, unforgettable moments & joy, peace and good health. You are truly blessed.”
We were all completely thrilled that this lady, whom we had spoken to for only a few moments, had gone that extra mile to recognize the importance of this special moment and make it even more special for my dad. We’ll never forget her kindness and the special impression it left on us for the entire Marriott organization.
As a professional in the industry, I had a sense of pride as I explained over dinner that this what we, those of us in the customer engagement industry, work so hard to help accomplish at organizations. It was wonderful to witness what can happen when a brand embraces a customer-first strategy while empowering its employees. The result was a truly memorable and unique experience.
Thank you, Marriott! And thank you, Correda!