Remember 25-years ago when hotel reservations were made by calling an 800-number? I recently reverted back, making a phone call to book my hotel reservation and, in the process, gained a Lesson Found.

Last week I was in San Diego for training. I initially booked my room under a special rate through the training facility but later dialed the hotel chain’s 800-number to extend my stay. That was a mistake. In a monotone voice, the service rep stated the charge would be at the hotel’s higher standard rate. My efforts to discuss this were fruitless so I said OK. Then the representative put me on hold for what seemed like forever because the “system is slow”. Finally, the service rep returned asking for a credit card. My reaction: “But you didn’t need one when I made the initial reservation?” “Sir, I need a credit card!” Now it was my turn to ask the representative to wait while I took a minute or so to get to my credit card. “Hello?” No response. Having learned my lesson, I called directly to their location in San Diego and had the exact opposite experience. This service rep couldn’t have been more polite — booking my extra night at the special rate and without requiring a credit card.

Avoiding such disparity in customer service is this week’s Lesson Found.

Hiring is the first line of defense and this is evidenced by the hiring practices at the San Diego property. As I always do after experiencing excellent customer service, I sought out the local manager to compliment him and his staff. His response is a lesson for every owner: “In hiring, we consider the person’s character first. You can train for skills but not character.”

Ensuring consistent customer service comes next. This happens through a well-thought-out training process as well as measuring key performance indicators. In addition, consistency comes by training the entire staff. While the hotel’s dishwasher may never encounter a guest, the glasses and silverware will reflect his attitude towards customer service. Finally, and most importantly, maintaining customer service excellence relies on the owner setting the tone through his/her interactions not only with customers but also by conveying the same respect to employees.

Considering a trip to the San Diego area and want to know where I stayed so you can benefit from the same excellent customer service? Or would you like to hear how the training I took can help ensure your company is delivering consistently excellent customer service? I’d love to share. Simply email or call me (717-439-6254) to hear more.

Life brings us lessons every day.  Sometimes from expected sources.  And sometimes from sources and situations we never would have thought possible.  Either way, they are a gift found. I am fortunate to find these types of lessons regularly and wanted to share them with you with this weekly series of “Lessons Found”.
Did you recently receive the gift of a Lesson Found that has helped you with management, marketing or another aspect in business? I would love to hear about it. Comment below or send me an email to let me know.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Images by Clker-Free-Vector-Images and DarkAthena from Pixabay.