Hotel Service – It’s the little things

If you’ve got the big things covered, you can still completely fail in the eyes of your customer.  Clean and organized lobby, clean elevators, stairways, halls, rooms, are fundamental and essential.  Properly working electronics, good TV reception, working and adequate wifi and/or wired internet connections, are a must.  Clean and comfortable chairs, tables, night stands, working bulbs in lamps, coffee pot and accessories, all round out the basics that every customer expects, and that you need to ensure you provide.

Assuming you’ve got the above in working order, you don’t want to miss out on the little things that keep the customer experience great.

I recently stayed at a Marriott that met all the criteria mentioned above.  When we checked in, we were impressed with the clean lobby, and friendly staff.  The bellman greeted me and opened the doors for me and directed me around the corner to the registration.  He was pleasant and conversational with us as he took our bags up to the room after we checked in.

The registration desk took care of me, though she couldn’t find my reservation.  I had to go out to the car to get it.  After keying in the registration number she immediately saw her mistake – she added a letter to my name that shouldn’t have been there.

Our first opportunity for a lesson – confirm your spelling of the customer’s name by reading it back to the customer.  Don’t make them repeat it unless you didn’t hear it fully in the first place.  For some reason people will often make the same mistake in spelling a name even though it gets repeated to them.

Our next lesson can be taken from what she did next – she apologized for having me go out to the care to get my registration, and added 500 rewards points to my account!  Wow!  That was cool!

She then noted that my profile preferred a room with a refrigerator, so she told me it would be sent up for me.  Wow!  Now I’m really impressed with what a great comeback she made!

Unfortunately I had to call twice to get the refrigerator delivered.  Somewhere between the request from the front desk to the delivery there was a failure.

Woman on phoneLesson number two is to follow-up on special requests.  Make sure things are taken care of, and your commitments are followed through with delivery.  We should all be able to count on each other doing our jobs right, but it just doesn’t always happen.

Once again though, the Marriott staff made a great rebound.  After our second call to let them know we still hadn’t received the refrigerator (it had been four hours), it was promptly delivered.  We received a call some twenty minutes later to make sure we’d received it, and that everything was ok.  Once again, they apologized and they were adding 500 rewards points to my account.  I was happy.  I got my ‘fridge, and points!

The hotel was working to make and keep me happy.  I LIKE that!

Next morning, I find the hair dryer didn’t work, so I left room service a note to that effect, and we were off for the day.

On the way out we stop by the front desk to ask a sightseeing question, and when asked what brought us into Albuquerque we told them it was our anniversary and my birthday.  We just wanted to go someplace new.  “Oh!” she exclaimed, “Do you like chocolate cake?”  Oh yea.  We agreed to be in our room at 7:00pm for a treat!

Upon returning to the room we find it unserviced.  A quick call to the service desk – “We’ll be right up.  So sorry!”  We go out for dinner, and everything is in order including a brand new dryer still in the box.  I get a call from the service desk to make sure everything is ok, and . . . they make it up with 1,000 rewards points added to my account!

Ok.  I’m satisfied, and pleased that they take these kinds of mistakes seriously, and I’m seeing follow-up as well.  Good.

That night promptly at 7:00pm we got a wonderfully warm and delicious chocolate cake and ice cream delivered to our room!   Great.

Coffee cream and sugarBut in the morning (day 3) when I go to make coffee, there is only one cup, no coffee refills, no additional stir sticks – nothing was replaced.  Everything was stored in a nice compartmentalized box which had been closed, so I figured she missed it.  I’m thinking they probably didn’t have a regular maid service make up the room and she didn’t think to check the coffee supplies.  Ok.  I made my wife the only remaining coffee, and I went downstairs where they had free coffee and got my fix.

I leave the coffee supply box open when we go out to sightsee.  It looks good when we get back at the end of the day.

Unfortunately when I check the box in the morning to make the coffee, I find there is only two creams instead of four, and no stir sticks.

Ok . . . we were checking out and I had breakfast being delivered WITH coffee, so I knew cream was coming with it.  Everything we ordered for breakfast was delivered and it tasted great.  But . . . uh . . . the pepper shaker was empty . . . you’ve got to be kidding me!

Not a big deal, but . . . it’s the little things that take away from all the great stuff.  And it’s not just one day, but spread out over four.

I didn’t complain to the management about these later oversights, and you can be sure that many of your customers go away without complaining to you . . . but all their friends will hear.

Me?  I use it as a great learning tool to help you provide great customer service by nailing down the little things.

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