When we're talking about exceptional customer experiences, a banana certainly can.
I dined at Parker's tonight (yes, they invented the Parker House Roll) in the Omni Parker House in Boston. The service was perfect, the food, chosen from the pre-theatre menu was delicious. They even served me mixed berries instead of a dessert from their menu and packed it up for me to go.
Everything met my expectations for a fine dining experience and I was completely satisfied, but, truthfully, as much as I enjoyed it, it was not an experience I would write about.
However when I was walking out with the berries in hand the whole evening changed. Michael, the maître d, stopped and chatted with me for a minute. He noticed the fruit and asked, "Would you like a banana with that?" Well, as it turns out, I did. So Michael went to the kitchen and came back with a banana and a bottle of water. He remarked that bananas are a perfect fruit—no need for silverware!
I'm not sure if bananas are the perfect fruit, but Michael was the perfect maitre d. He found an opportunity to surprise and delight. I won't soon forget the kindness he showed me.
I often say, "Exceptional customer service is created through small acts of personal kindness." Michael understood this and achieved it through the gift of a banana.
How can you delight your customer? What is "the banana" that will surprise and delight them? Make sure you give a little extra so that your customers will talk about your great service.