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Doing Customer Service Well

If you apply my philosophy of Do it Well, Make it Fun to customer service, you could call it “Do What’s Right and Make it Easy.”

Surprisingly, we’ve all experienced a wide range of service experiences – from doing nothing to exceeding our expectations.  At the risk of sounding whiney, I want to share two contrasting customer service experiences I recently had.

First, I visited the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, TX for a conference.  I arrived at the hotel around at 10:30 a.m. and my room was not ready.  This is not uncommon so I planted myself in the adjacent Starbucks expecting to make multiple trips to the front desk throughout the day to check on my room until it was finally ready later in the afternoon.  To my pleasant surprise, the front desk clerk called me on my cell phone less than an hour later to tell me my room was ready and that she would bring my room key to me in the Starbucks.  I had barely hung up and she was there.  Wow.  I was thrilled by the great service.

Two weeks later, I was staying at the Hyatt Chesapeake in Cambridge, MD.  Again, my room was not ready when I arrived so I was given a complimentary upgrade to get me into a room sooner.

However, the following day, I needed to print out one sheet of information from my  thumb drive to be used in my presentation.  I was told the minimum charge to print anything was $7.50.   I was not about to pay that for one sheet of paper so I just read the information from my iPad.  Later that same day, I asked the bellman to help me take my luggage to the car and then bring in several boxes of my books for the audience.  I was told that since the boxes ultimately needed to go to the conference center, which is part of the hotel, they (the hotel bellmen) could not assist me.  Instead, I had to carry my luggage to the conference center and request help from the conference center staff.  Not only was this inconvenient, it was just annoying.

I suspect that the hotel had a contract with both the business center and the conference center.  I further suspect that there are all kinds of internal bickering about who is responsible for what and as a result, all three entities have become very rigid and territorial.  But to me, a paying customer, I don’t care about their internal politics.  I just want my stay at their hotel to be easy.

In my humble opinion, the right way is to work out the internal differences behind the scenes so that the customer never sees it.

So, if you are in a situation where you deliver customer service consider this slight variation on Do it Well, Make it Fun.  Always think about your customer and just Do it Right and make it Easy.

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