With three business trips undertaken in April there was opportunity to be on the receiving end of a good deal of customer service, a key component to the experience, so it is unsurprising that this months thought have a distinct travel and hospitality theme. So lets have a think at what went well and what not so…
A plus point for Quantas and their lounge in Singapore, immaculately clean and well appointed but the difference made by the staff who interacted well and made excellent recommendations (from the wine to go with the freshly cooked minute steak to places of interest to visit during a stay)
Also a plus point for The Gathering Restaurant and Lounge at Edinburgh airport. Good quality food together with non pushy service (ie you can wait about a bit when flight is delayed) meant a pleasant and relaxing experience.
Europcar at Edinburgh airport made a positive impression and achieved a well deserved upsell. Welcoming, helpful service combined with an improved deal that made sense and was professionally presented as such made the decision a ‘no brainer’.
As we look towards the less positive experiences sadly the DoubleTree by Hilton in Johor Bahru features. This is not through lack of effort, indeed it is perhaps a case of being killed with kindness. I am usually able to get my own coffee from a machine, but being helped is nice and the ‘noodle man’ was on top form one lunchtime. However the annoyance factor was not ‘being allowed’ to set up my own PC to a projector. With 15 years in training and development I can do this and can be trusted, so if the assistant is not there when I need to do it or when it fails (four times!) and I don’t have the remote to reset this causes annoyance. What was thought to be adding value originally didn’t originally and then went on to cause a negative.
I feel guilty using this as my negative as the people involved were lovely and wanted to do their best, they really could not do enough. However the irony that in this case it was too much is the learning point. Is what we are doing or planning to do really adding value for the customer? Is it what they want or need? The positives cited above are examples of thinking having taken place about what the customer wanted and what would be appreciated, the actions undertaken (or not) were based on this.
My advice to the guys in JB would be to just take a moment and consider what the customer will appreciate, what will make a difference, and then act accordingly… but on no account lose the intent of wanting to help. While the former can be trained this attitude is priceless.