serving customers

Be Right, or Do Right?

I walked up to the front desk of the hotel and requested a flip chart for my room.  The young woman at the front desk looked at me like I was crazy and said…“We don’t do that here.”

I explained to her that I knew they did because they had provided me with one before. Is serving customers about being right or doing right?

She was adamant that this was not possible.

Eventually, she told me to try the conference centre that is attached to the hotel, maybe “they” can help.

I walked over to the conference centre and the first item on a page attached to the wall said: Flip Chart $25. I explained to the person at the conference centre what I wanted and his response to me was, “They sent you over here for that?”

He told me it was no problem, they would have one sent to my room.

On my way back to my room, I stopped at the front desk to let her know that they were able to help me. I assumed she would want to know in case another guest had the same request.

She responded to me with attitude and said, “Yeah, the conference centre, not us.”

I tried again to explain to her that I had done this before and she was adamant, “We don’t do this, they do.”

Exasperated, feeling like she was calling me a liar when I’ve done this almost every time I stay at this hotel, I told her that arguing with me about what I could and couldn’t do was not a great example of customer service. What about serving customers?

This young woman works in hospitality where typically, employees try and find solutions for guests, not create problems.

I was reminded of two things from this young woman’s behaviour that is important for all of us in business.

  1. Doing the right thing is more important than being right.
  2. One person’s bad attitude on your team can cast a shadow on the entire company.

As the leader of your business, it’s important that you empower your team to do what is right for your customers and that you are relentless in removing anyone who doesn’t have an attitude of service, or you are risking the eventual demise of your organization.

Empower your team to do what is right for your #customers. Click To Tweet

In this case, I emailed the General Manager of the hotel on Sunday. He replied and indicated he would investigate. He has since gone out of his way to come see me and apologize for the situation and to also let me know they’re buying two flip charts so this never happens again.

Leave me a comment and let me know if an experience like this one impacts the view you have on a brand, or if you just brush these things off.

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