Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thank You For Thanking Us or Customer Service 101




The New Amsterdam Theatre on West 42nd Street is a lovely old theatre with a “beaux-arts entrance and a magnificent art nouveau interior of painted plaster, carved stone, fine wood, murals and tiles.” Unfortunately the steps in the mezzanine leading down to the rows of seats alternate between long and short. That’s the reason for my tumble into the third row, resulting in cuts and bruises on my face.

No sooner had I discovered that blood was trickling down my neck than Tania, an usher, was at hand with her first aid box. My daughter’s sister-in-law Sue, a nurse, accompanied me and Tania to the lobby where I was provided with bandages and an ice pack. Tania also said EMS was available. She reiterated several times that I should ask for anything I needed. At the intermission of Mary Poppins, Tania and Louis, another usher, appeared again to see how I was doing and to refresh my ice pack. At the end of the show, they were back again.

I was so impressed by the actions of the theatre staff that I wrote to the theatre manager and the guest services manager to express my appreciation. I don’t mean to be cynical when I say that it’s been suggested that this type of customer service is in place to avert lawsuits. Regardless, it doesn’t affect my opinion of the ushers' actions.

Three days after I’d mailed my letters, UPS left a package at my door. Inside was a letter from the theatre manager that thanked me for my comments and assuring me that copies had been placed the ushers’ files. The letter ended this way: “In today’s world where many folks are more apt to criticize, it is refreshing when someone takes the time to write a letter commending service. Please accept the enclosed original cast recording of Mary Poppins as a token of our sincerity.”

About the show itself: a grand old-fashioned (meant in a good way!) musical with stunning sets, terrific actors, singers and dancers. And yes, Mary does fly out over the audience.