Dropping The Ball On Customer Service

By Jeff Earlywine


Many times you only get one chance with a customer. You know the old saying, “You get once chance to make a first impression.” That is totally true. Think about when you met that special someone, they are probably still special because of that first meeting. Or, the first time at a resort or hotel. If your first experience was not so good then you will always remember those feelings, emotions, smells and sites. This is just what happened to me recently.


I was doing an on-site visit to one of my favorite clients. And I decided to stay at a different hotel this time. Well… below is the email that I took a few minutes to write to the general manager.




Good morning. I am taking a few minutes to send you a quick email. I visit your city on business about every 3 months. I usually stay at the same hotel but thought I would get a new perspective and stay at a different place – yours. My trip from Florida on Sunday was a tough and very long one. I arrived at the West Palm Beach airport around 3pm Eastern Time, and after two flights and several delays I arrived at your hotel around 2″am” Eastern Time Monday morning – yep a very long day.


When I arrived the guys at the desk were nice as could be. I was worn out and they gave me my key and I headed to my room. When I came out of the elevator on the 2nd floor I was hit with a bad smell – something like sour water/carpet. When I opened my door I saw two small beds. Perhaps this was what I booked but was really disappointed because all I wanted to do was sleep in a big bed like mine at home. I called down and they said they could move me with no problem. So I grabbed my bags and headed back. When I got down there they said they couldn’t move me because it would cost me more. They didn’t give me the option of paying more and they knew how tired I was. They could have moved me at no charge and made me a fan.


So back to the room I went. I got up Monday morning (actually about 4 hours later) and headed to breakfast. I found the juice machine was broken and was told that it often is, the food was just okay but not even close to the other hotel that I usually stay at. And every time down that hall way I was hit with that smell. When I took my shower I found that the conditioner bottle was not a new one, it was 1/2 full used by another guest. Are you kidding me???  I left for my work – to be gone all day.


The bench out front of the hotel is a law suit waiting to happen – just FYI.


When I got back to the room and going into Tuesday (today) the people that cleaned the room didn’t do that good of a job and didn’t leave “any” shampoo or conditioner. I called the desk – had to call multiple times to get someone to answer – to get them to bring me some.


All in all, I am disappointed. I will be going back to my original hotel. I hope this email will help you in your work.


You get one first impression with that new client, patient or customer. Obviously that hotel didn’t make a good one on me. Stay tuned to next week’s Bar Raiser Report because the hotel manager responded to my email.  You may be shocked at her response.


Jeff Earlywine is a business consultant, corporate trainer and international speaker. He has worked with 300 different organizations over 30 years. His driving, disciplined approach to raising standards of excellence has earned him the nickname “The Bar Raiser!”

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