Hats off to customer service

When I checked in to  hotel yesterday the front-desk agent greeted me with a “welcome back” (always nice) and then told me that I had left a pair of trousers behind last time – so they had had them dry-cleaned and pressed for me and they were in my room.  They didn’t have to go to all that trouble, but the fact that they did means that I feel that they’ve taken care of me and I’ll tell people.

And isn’t that what customer service is about? Retain existing customers, and hopefully use word-of-mouth to generate new custom too.

It reminds me of another hotel where I have stayed three times – a week apart for the first Customer servicetwo, and then a year later.  On the second stay the head doorman opened the taxi door and without missin a beat greeted me by name – I was impressed.  Then, a year later, as I arrived the same guy opened the taxi door, recognised me and greeted me by name and seeing I was alone asked whether my wife would be arriving later.  Whether he has a phenomenal memory, or whether they have a clever CRM system, it doesn’t matter – it made me feel special.

And after yesterday’s blog about upsetting the boss, perhaps this is the counterpoint because the same concept is portable: without disappearing up the boss’s bottom, if you can make him feel good, keep some of the hassles away, and turn him into your advocate (using word-of-mouth advertising on your personal brand), that can only be good.

Sadly, that’s an idea that I don’t think Jamie has quite understood.

Oh, and before I forget, I’ll play te game: the hotel brand in question is Hilton. And I’ll tell you which properties if anyone asks.