Posted tagged ‘education and training’

Do your staff head off customer upsets?

September 15, 2008

I’d stayed at the Bejaya Time Square Hotel on my last visit to Kuala Lumpur a few months ago. It’s a nice business hotel attached to a very large mall. My previous room was a junior suite with a small kitchen area and living room, and Internet access via a DSL cable. I assumed I’d have a similar room this time.

My room was a tad smaller and not as well laid out. I immediately booted my computer and saw no wireless signal. I tried plugging in my travel Ethernet cable, but it didn’t fit in the wall slot. As he helped me with my bags, I asked the bellman if there was a DSL cable in the room. He said he’d be right back with one. I unpacked and got ready for an appointment with a business friend. The bellman didn’t return.

Twenty minutes later, I called the front desk and was told they would send a cable right up. I said I was leaving in a few minutes, so just leave it in the room.

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Amara Hotel exemplifies superior service

September 14, 2008

Some hotels claim to have superb service. Others actually provide it. Here’s an example of some of the outstanding service I received on my recent stay at the Amara Singapore.

Arriving at 6:00 a.m. from my overseas flight, I was informed I needed to check back at 10:00 to see if a room was available for early check in. Or I could pay for an additional night’s stay. I choose to cool my heels until 10, and asked where I could change clothes. Expecting to be directed toward the ladies room, I was pleased to be told I could take a shower, use the workout facilities and change clothes in the gym. After stowing my luggage, I set out for the gym.

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Do you trust your customers?

August 11, 2008

In a recent vacation to Lake Placid, NY, I was taken down a winding country road to South Meadow Farm. We entered the small room attached to the barn which displayed a large variety of local food stuffs. We were tempted by shelves of maple syrup (light-, medium-, and dark-amber varieties), homemade jam, maple-based candy and other local goodies.

But what was missing was most striking.

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Do your staff understand the customer experience?

July 30, 2008

Are your staff putting themselves in your customers’ shoes, thinking through the customer experience? Does your staff help your customers save time, money and aggravation, rather than causing more of these?

Twice recently, with two different reps at my travel agency, I found they didn’t really understand the customer experience, so I ended up spending more time, money and hassle than necessary.

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Singapore Airlines again shows stellar service

July 27, 2008

Today I expected the brief 1-hour flight from Penang, Malaysia to Singapore to be uneventful. Instead, however, I was treated to anther example of Singapore Airlines above-and-beyond service.

The flight was reasonably empty, so I took the opportunity to ask the lead steward how he liked the new uniforms SIA had just rolled out. Instead of different colored suit jackets to denote the stewards’ rank, they all now wore dark blue suits and their ties were color-coded to their status.

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What’s your definition of above-and-beyond service?

May 21, 2008

My friend, internationally acclaimed concierge-level service speaker Holly Steil and I were talking about what constituted world-class service. I had just returned from Malaysia and Singapore where I stayed in 4- and 5-star hotels. I gave her a few examples of what I thought was extraordinary service:

  • The bellman who took me to my room of the 600-room at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel called me by name two days later, with no contact in between.”That’s standard at a high-end hotel,” Holly said.
  • The concierge at The Legend Hotel who escorted me from the lobby down nine floors to hail me a cab, even though there was a doorman who could do it.Holly shared, “All concierges would assist you in getting a cab if they didn’t have another guest waiting.” (more…)

How do your people react to dissatisfied customers?

May 20, 2008

I was returning the $200 Z-Coil sports shoes I thought would help my heel pain. I’d purchased them the previous week with the provision I could return them with no restocking fee if my physical therapist didn’t approve of how they supported my feet. It took me a few days longer to get in to see her than I thought.

Andrew, the manager, said I could wear them around my house to see how they felt and still return them if needed. I did just that.

My PT said the coil in the heel was too unstable for me. I explained this to the salesman at the counter. He said he would refund me minus a “sanitation” fee. I told him Andrew, who was helping another customer, said there was no return fee. Andrew came to the counter and looked at the shoes. He threw them back into the box and said they were too worn to waive the fee. I told him I wore them only around the house, as we had agreed. He gave me a disgusted look.

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