Thursday, July 15, 2010

I AM the Manager

This week I’m going to share a tale with you. A tale of bad customer service by a manager – not a leader – a manager.

Recently a colleague and I went to Vero Beach to hold a couple of classes for our counterparts. We stayed over night so we brought our spouses along (separate rooms of course). The hotel we had reservations at was a nice one, not upscale but a very comfortable business and travel site. When we checked in we were given wonderful service by the woman at the desk (Betty). She was friendly, accommodating, and would do anything she could to make our stay memorable. I was thoroughly impressed.

Since my partner and I were going to be heading to class at about 6:45a.m. (ugh), we asked that we be allowed a late check-out. Betty said that we could have until 1:00p.m. – that’s all that she could authorize. Well that was much better than 11:00 so we said that would be great, and thanked her. Then one small omittance brought about our customer service snafu. Betty recorded my late check-out in the turnover book, but forgot to record my teaching partners. Oh-oh.

The next day my wife had no problem, however the other party did. He was called at 12:00 and told he had to get out (in not so many words). When he went to the front desk to sort the issue out, he was greeted with rudeness. He asked to talk to a supervisor and was told by the gentleman he was speaking to that, “I AM the manager. Long story short, nothing changed – no apology, no concession - just get out.

Because of that ONE person - and the manager at that - none of us will ever stay at that particular hotel again.

In any service organization all staff should be constantly asking themselves, “How can I make these customers’ experiences better than from other places or better than they were the last time?”

Remember that “Everything Speaks”. Everything the customer sees, hears, smells, tastes, or touches will impact their experience with you. It’s a darn shame when the only “bad taste” comes from a correctable predicament made worse by management – the very person(s) that you’d expect to make things better.

As they teach at the Disney Institute, (even though this time the guest WAS right) “Guests may not always be right, but they are always our guests.”

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