We hosted a breakfast training seminar recently at the Apache Casino and Hotel and the meal was outstanding. Yes, I enjoyed the biscuit (yes, I just enjoyed one) with the gravy piled on top. For a gal born and raised in Kentucky, we learn early to appreciate a good hot breakfast, especially when you know biscuits and gravy will be served.

For the person who wrote me anonymously and referred to me as the Betty Davis of Lawton, thanks for the chuckle. I am not sure of the reference, but I enjoyed the laugh and it made me appreciate the training we received.

John Formica, the ex-Disney guy, was the keynote speaker. He provided some tidbits for how we can all work to deliver magical customer service. This training would not have happened if it were not for the sponsorship provided by the Billingsley Family of Dealerships, Pam and Barry’s ReMax Team and Storage R Us.

Mr. Formica has delivered more than 1,450 presentations to small business and professionals throughout the U.S. He shared that many ask him about Disney’s secrets of how they provide incredible customer experiences, and how they “wow” the customers, and create a fun and positive work environment.

It’s more than Pixie Dust according to Formica. It all starts with a vision that is embraced with strong values. I would say honored values. What do you stand for? Are you honest? Do you treat folks fairly? Are you kind and generous with you time and energy? These are great questions we must all pause and evaluate.

I am proud to say while at the Chamber, we have a wonderful working environment. This is not what Brenda says, it’s what the team says. We laugh, we share funny stories and we collaborate. At times we may disagree, and debate an issue, but as a team we do it respectfully. This allows for a great environment for members, guests and friends to come and visit with us.

We truly care about each other, and as a team, we recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each individual so we can blend to meet the needs of our customers. Are we perfect? No. In fact, sometimes we get frustrated such as the day I received the anonymous note calling me Betty Davis and chastising me for not recognizing in my weekly commentary an organization that had done something great for the community. I first was frustrated, as if I had been told of the event, although not a Chamber event, I would have recognized the organizer.

I love to see good things happen in our community. I love to brag on Lawton. This is my community, and I love it (even when I forget to wear my pin). We all have those moments when someone or some thing frustrates us, and perhaps hurts our feelings or pride, but we should never allow that to deter us from providing the most professional and courteous customer service we can possibly provide.

So, Formica is correct, making folks smile is not Pixie Dust, it’s simply going above and beyond their expectations and it’s simply being kind. With that in mind, Feb. 29, 2020, is Leap of Kindness Day. Please consider going to the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and sharing a story of your random act of kindness.

Brenda Spencer-Ragland is president and CEO of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.

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