Quality Hotel Service, My experience I am a business marketer and as I work with different companies the more I realize it is all about the customer. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in the most important thing you can do is deliver a quality product or service to and create satisfied consumers. I learned this lesson not only from the perspective of a company but more importantly from the perspective of a customer. One hotel stay that I had a few years back has been the story that I have used to explain what quality service is. A number of years ago I was taking a family trip across the country to visit some relatives. They were my in-laws, but I was still looking forward to the trip. Anyway, there was not too much room for my growing family to squeeze into the grandma’s house so I booked a stay at one of the local hotels. It was a small hotel that wasn’t part of a chain so I decided to give it a chance. We arrived in the evening and went to the front desk to get our room key. Everything was arranged so I took the room key and my wife and I dragged our tired kids up to the room. We slid the card into the door and opened it entering the room. After dropping our bags on the floor we looked around to see a messy hotel room. Now when I say messy I don’t mean paint was splattered on the walls. But, the bed was disheveled and the cupboards were open and what came to mind was, they didn’t clean our room. I stopped my tired kids from flopping onto their beds and took the elevator back down to the ground floor. I went and spoke with the desk attendant and explained the situation. The attendant apologized and had maids come and clean the room for us. Everything was squared away and we all went back into the room. I started getting the kids ready for bed while my wife went into the bathroom to take a shower. As I pulled the shirt down on my daughter my wife came back out of the bathroom with an annoyed look on her face. She pulled me into show that there was a dirty used washcloth in the bathtub. Now before you call her picky, the hotel did not provide washcloths in your room. Back down I went to talk with the desk attendant about the mystery of the filthy of washcloth. The desk attendant apologized profusely and arranged for my family to be moved over to a different room. We carried our stuff over to the new room (our kids our falling asleep by now). The room was the same style as the original minus the mess. I was peeved about the experience but not enough to keep me from falling asleep.
The next morning we woke the kids up and found a note on the front of our door instructing us to come down to the front desk. Great, I thought, now we have to move into another room. I dressed and headed down to the lobby to see what the issue was. I approached the nervous looking desk attendant (she could see I was annoyed), but to my surprise I didn’t find more trouble. Instead the woman gave me impromptu waivers for the breakfast court. They were handwritten instructions that stated my family and I didn’t have to pay for the breakfast (which we had not paid for in our stay package). I thanked her and headed back up to the room to show my wife. She laughed and got the kids dressed. We headed down for breakfast and after eating I went to tip the server. He refused, telling me not to take any money as tips from us. He then wished me a good stay and cleared our plates. I was pretty amazed by all of this. We stayed at the hotel for the three days we were in town. Every morning we had a free breakfast. The thing that capped it all off was as we check out midweek one of the employees gave us a small gift basket for our daughter. It wasn’t expensive, mostly full of crayons and small coloring books, but I was very impressed by their effort. The hotel had made a mistake in their service but they were determined to make my stay great. I left the hotel as a satisfied customer and you know what; my family and I stayed at that hotel whenever we came into town. My wife’s parents moved a while back and our family has not been back to that hotel for a long time, but I will always remember that one stay. What to learn from this experience. For one, if you are looking for a hotel in Norwalk, CT or San Diego, CA think small sometimes. The local hotels really need to satisfy their guests to encourage them to return. Second lesson, and I am sorry this is the marketer in me, but it’s all about the customer. Photo Credit: Marc, John Walker