Don’t make a bad situation worse. My takeaways from recent hotel stays.

Having not stayed away from home for the past 20 months I have stayed in 4 different hotels in just the last 2 months; twice for work and twice for pleasure.

Pre-Covid, I tended to stay in the same type of hotel for business (low cost, standard service, you know exactly what you’ll get and once inside you could be anywhere in the country). However, for a variety of reasons I have been to 4 hotels – one family owned and the other 3 part of different chains.

Maybe I’m a little pickier than I used to be, having got so used to my home comforts, but I don’t think so. I’ve just been quite shocked by the difference in standards and how the money you spend doesn’t always relate to what you get.

The details are unimportant but the general takeaways are relevant irrespective of the type of business you work for. Whatever you are providing I would suggest:

  1. You don’t think that by looking stressed and busy you will help the situation or improve your customer’s feelings. Avoiding eye contact and ploughing on with your current job without acknowledging your customer or their needs will just make them angrier!
  2. You smile and say hello as you pass your customers, pick up the phone or meet someone new. That first impression makes a huge difference to the next few minutes of communication so make your job easier for yourself.
  3. If you say you are going to do something then do it! And when questioned about the non-appearance of “X” it is never a good idea to blame your colleague! I don’t care who did or didn’t do what. What I want is you to have done what you said you would do and if you haven’t to tell me when you can.
  4. People assume you can do whatever it is you say you can, based on a lot of things other than your ability to do it. Cleanliness, punctuality, timekeeping and good manners will all help your customer determine if you and the business are up to the job or not.
  5. If you are the boss … make sure you have told your team what you expect of them and support them to deliver it. Leaving someone to explain a rule or regulation they don’t understand undermines their authority and make the business seem unreliable.

I could go on!

Oh, and if a customer bothers to let you know what they think (even if you disagree) thank them for telling you. Most won’t make the effort to contact you and will be busy telling their friends instead.

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