Before hopping on his flight from Tampa to Newark, author and entrepreneur Peter Shankman jokingly tweeted to the Morton's Steakhouse official Twitter account that it'd be great to have a Morton's porterhouse waiting for him when he landed in New Jersey (via Digital Trends).
Well, someone at Morton's was listening. They had a tuxedo-clad server and a porterhouse waiting for a Shankman at the baggage claim less than three hours later. He was understandably thrilled, and shocked.
Morton's differentiates itself through quality and customer service -- that's how it can get people into the restaurant to order $40 entrees. This gesture focuses directly on the strengths of the Morton's brand, and was sure to be a hit if it got exposure.
And they picked the right guy to do it for. It's probably not a coincidence that Shankman happens to be the author of Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World, a book about how to use social media to improve customer service. He has also written about PR stunts that work.
So did it pay off? Big time. It has been an absolute PR coup.
Shankman put up a blog post about the experience, entitled "The Greatest Customer Service Story Ever Told, Starring Morton's Steakhouse." He also has 100,000 followers on Twitter, and now all of them know how awesome Morton's was to him.
It got a bunch of attention from the media over the weekend too, and dozens of outlets retold the story, many praising it as much as Shankman did.
Shankman doesn't think it was about any of that though. Here's what he had to say on his blog:
"Of course, there immediately came a few tweets from the other side of the camp, specifically calling out that I have over 100k Twitter followers, and if I didn’t, this never would have happened. But you know what? I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t think it’s about my follower numbers. I think it’s about Morton’s knowing I’m a good customer, who frequents their establishments regularly."
Either way, it makes more sense for Morton's to do this for a frequent customer that has significant reach and industry cred than a regular Morton's eater. Well played, Morton's.
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