Delivering an exceptional customer experience has a great deal to do with common sense. Last week, I attended a business conference and stayed at a premier brand hotel chain lacking both good customer service and common sense.
- I called the hotel when I boarded the plane to request an early check-in and the person at the front desk, very nice and friendly, told me I needed to call again when I landed. Why? I don’t know. That required extra effort on my part and more time and money for handling my request by the hotel.
- There was a coffee machine in the room, but the packets were not replaced even though it was obvious that coffee had already been brewed. I had to call housekeeping to have the coffee delivered and felt obliged to give that person a tip. Extra unnecessary time, effort, and expense on my part.
- After a long day, I went to the hotel bar to have a glass of wine. The bartender, who I had some conversation with, apparently left for the evening, and never said goodbye. That didn’t make me feel welcomed or valued.
- Another evening, I was hungry and decided to dine at the hotel restaurant. I was alone. The hostess greeted me, not with hello, but a curt question: “Are you the only one?” Of course the answer was yes. I felt like I was imposing asking for a table for one. Was I being sensitive? Not when I overheard another customer waiting in line behind me asking if the restaurant preferred two or more people at a table.
- Returning after a long day, I put out the “do not disturb” sign. I wanted to relax without any interruptions. My phone rang. The hotel offered turn down service and the operator wanted to know if I wanted it or not because I had the “do not disturb” sign hanging on my door. Common sense? “Do Not Disturb” means just that. Good thing I wasn’t already asleep because then there might have been yelling.
Hotels and great customer service should be synonyms. The goal of every hotel corporation is to create the ideal customer experience for their guests. Start with the basics first. Hire people who already have common sense and create consumer-friendly policies. Makes sense to me.