How to pick up the dropped customer service ball

If you read last week’s Bar Raiser Report then you are waiting to see how the manager of the hotel handled my situation and how she picked up the customer service ball that her staff badly dropped. If you have not read that post you can click HERE and it will take you to it before you read on. As you do read on my goal is to show you how one manager/leader took charge and is determined to never let the situation that happened to me happen again. My goal is to also show how you can apply the same basic principles to your business.


Here is the hotel manager’s response to my not so flattering email to her…



Dear Jeff,


Thank you sincerely for your feedback. I am so sorry to hear that your stay was anything less than exceptional, and our daily meeting today primarily consisted of sharing your feedback and discussing ways that each of us individually can ensure that we are providing our guests with the best experience possible, in all departments and in all regards. As a loyal Marriott Rewards member, charging you for an upgraded room should not have even been an option, especially considering that my staff promised this to you. Additionally, the issues you described with the cleanliness and amenities are absolutely inexcusable. We do take your feedback very seriously, and I hope that in the future you will give us another chance to provide you with the experience you deserve.



Well, there you have it. There were three principles that I observed in her email that can be applied to every customer service complaint and issue in your business.


One, she immediately replied to my email. So often customers that have a legitimate complaint are not responded to in a speedy fashion. This only makes things worse because the customer issuing the complaint is assuming that the management of the business just does not care. This can only breed an even worse reputation and certainly negative p/r from this customer.


Two, she got all of her staff involved and went over the issues with all of them. She didn’t just stop at the staff meeting. She seems to be determined to take a good look at each department at the hotel and fix all of the issues. If I were coaching her I would suggest that she micromanage each and every section of each department. Meaning looking at every facet of each department and how they come in contact with the customer. Then make sure each of these connection points are giving the best customer service possible to “all” customers.


Three, she invited me back for a second chance to make a much better impression. If I do go back and stay at this hotel (and it is possible because of how the manager handled my situation) I will be looking to see the improvements they have made. I will also be sure and say, “Hello” to the manager.


I challenge you to look at your business under this microscope. Really analyze how every one of your departments treat each of your customers and those connection points.

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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