Last week I presented a customer service breakdown. The situation was showing up at your hotel with reservations and finding they did not have you booked. Realizing your reservation was missing, they stand there with their great customer service smile and deer in the headlights look, leaving you to fend for yourself.
I asked readers to let me know how they think the hotel should address the error. Here are two responses I received.
Front Desk Personnel should:
- Suggest you have dinner “on them” in the hotel restaurant and see if any cancellations come in during that time.
- Offer to make calls to hotels nearby and arrange for a room immediately, or at the end of dinner if no cancellations have occurred.
First and foremost, I would apologize to the customer and take ownership of the mix-up. Never, ever, suggest that it was somehow their fault or the fault of your employee. The customer at this point is not interested in who is to blame, but simply a solution to the problem; which must be solved quickly. One solution would be to locate the nearest and finest quality hotel in the area, secure them the best room available and pay for their overnight stay.
Of course, refund whatever they had spent at your hotel and offer them a free night stay the next time they were in the area, reload their luggage in their vehicle and apologize again for the mistake.
A follow up call the next day would be next. Perhaps a room would now be available at your hotel. Don’t be afraid to invite them back for a complimentary night stay or maybe a complimentary meal at the hotel restaurant.
The most important thing to remember, whatever their experience was, they will most likely share it with friends, family and co-workers.
These responses touch on a common theme. Regardless of what happened, take care of the customer. Why is it that so many companies do not prepare their employees to do just that?
This is where Customer Service training needs to take place.