During the last two weeks, I’ve stayed in two new hotels owned by a major hotel chain, possibly the largest hotel chain in the country, if not the world. My overall experience in each hotel was extremely different, highlighting the variation in staff training, on-job coaching and customer service standards.
Clearly there has been a level of staff training and you would expect that there are customer service standards in place across this hotel chain.
So why the massive variation between hotels within the same chain of hotels?
Let’s Compare Hotel A With Hotel B
On arrival, I walked directly into the reception area and made my way to the reception desk, all the while watching the person behind the counter waiting for a sign of acknowledgement like a smile or a greeting – nothing until I reached the counter where the receptionist simply worked through the motions to complete my booking.
There was no smile, greeting, warm welcome or any other conversation. The experience was cold, dry and transactional.
Entering my room, I found a cheese board waiting for me gifted by the hotel due to my status. A nice touch, right? But it had been in the room so long, it was all dried out and looked terrible, simply because it had been left in the room for too long prior to my arrival.
Normally, I receive an email asking what time I will be arriving? Which in this case I did not, so what was a positive became this negative?
The person I spoke to regarding the cheeseboard was lovely, she apologised, directly organised a fresh cheeseboard and she delivered it to my room personally.
She was the only person that looked like she actually really wanted to be of service.
Prior to my arrival I was contacted with instructions on how to access the hotel reception via the lifts, as it is located on the second floor.
As I exited the lift into the reception area I was greeted immediately by the reception staff and during the booking, he enquired whether I would be dining at the hotel and when I said yes, he managed my dinner booking.
As I walked past the maintenance guy to access the lift to my room, he greeted me, stopped what he was doing, asked me which floor and pushed the button.
Unike Hotel A, this hotel has embraced a friendly, warm and engaging customer service ethic. They know the value of creating a positive feeling and it was a pleasure to observe and receive.
So here’s the thing, having just moved out of Melbourne, I’m looking for a hotel that I can stay in, on a regular basis when I am back in Melbourne. When you compare the two – both offer lovely rooms, dining, are in great locations and price is comparable, why would I not come back here?
It’s a pretty obvious choice, right? Hotel B stands out!
“Service from a distance – 80% of the service experience is often made before you serve your customer.
From a distance customers form a number of impressions. These initial impressions may be even more significant than the service itself, which can be very brief. Initial evaluations certainly create expectations of the service that will follow. Good or bad impressions can effectively form the basis of customers’ judgements of staff performance, as well as your own.
There are fundamental behaviours that create a basic service standard including a positive first impression, effective communication, and a great finish.
To download a copy of my 5 Key Service Standards simply, click here.
It is the consistency you and your team provide ‘every time’ that will not only have your business stand out but ensure your customers come back.
Which leads me to Moments of Truth.
Moments Of Truth
From the moment you interact with a business, there are multiple touchpoints that occur. These touchpoints are called ‘moments of truth.’
Moments of truth are interactions that occur that leave a lasting positive or negative impression on a customer.
If you think about an airline for example: you arrive at the airport, check-in, go to the gate or lounge, use retail services, have your boarding pass scanned and walk to the plane. You’re then greeted at the plane and have more interactions on the plane before you depart and collect your bags.
There are over 7 touchpoints from the moment you set foot into the airport to landing at your destination, each of these touchpoints are opportunities for the airline to create positive moments of truth.
It’s important to know where your moments of truth are. These moments are not huge gestures, they do not require large budgets, they’re small yet they have a big impact on your customer’s loyalty.
Have you thought about your ‘Moments Of Truth’? If not, I invite you to do so.
To learn more download a copy of my Moments Of Truth Workshop brochure here.
If you would like to have a chat with me about “Moments Of Truth” contact me I look forward to hearing from you.