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When Customers Service Sux or Wow's

Not all Hotels are made Equal...

Fun times in Hobart today with my first go at the extended version of my Ultimate 48 Hour Author Blueprint for Business Success workshop.  We unpacked 5 more books in the room and I got to get to know the participants so much more intimately then when I have the bigger groups.  They also got to know each other and in turn help each other come up with some cool and sexy Book Name, Taglines and Chapter names.

One of the things I love is when I see their eyes light up the world of possibilities that opens up right in front of them as I deliver the event.  Often I get so many participants walk in with a pre-conceived idea of what this will be and walk out amazed and stunned how much bigger that can be thinking when it comes to a book.

But more so I want to talk about the venue today.  I have now been to so many venues in so many cities across Australia and most have been pretty helpful and willing to assist around the running and set up of the rooms.  In the last two weeks I have had two quite opposing experiences with venues that I wanted to share the comparison here.

I hosted my event at the Hotel Kurrajong in Canberra last Tuesday 11-3 and when I walked in I was super impressed with the look of the place.  Old style but clean, posh and professional.  I thought awesome – this will reflect great on my business and brand, or so I thought in the first 5 mins. 

I like to arrive early (always 1hr and 15mins) to make sure no nasty surprises arise or if they do I can solve them in time so no one knows that anything went astray.  Following my first impressing came a variety of unpleasant experiences.  Here are just a few:

  • The staff and manager found every request all too hard
  • When organising lunch they took half an hour to agree on the pre-order so its ready at a set time
  • No enough chairs were set up (20 instead of 25 so we ran out) to which the manager was trying to tell me I was wrong and that 25 chairs were set up.  At my count there were only 20.  Great way to make your customer feel wrong!
  • Everything we asked (which isn’t really much if you know me I get in and out and stay out of everyone way as much as possible) was responded with nasty attitude and passive aggressive rudeness.  There was something going on with the culture in this hotel that filtered across the board – not one person was nice.
  • One of our participants waited 28 mins for a drink during our whole lunch break at the bar.
  • Lunch for me didn’t come out until 10 mins to go even though all lunches were ordered in time 2 hours earlier and I had to inhale it so I don’t pass out.
  • They accused some of the participants of not paying for their lunch when everyone in the room confirmed they did pay.
  • And the final thing (I am sure there were more) I accidentally left my box of books under one of the covered tables in the room which had my 20 books for my Sydney event and upon calling the venue only 30 mins after leaving, they claimed my box was not there and there were no books.  This is impossible as they weren’t in my hire car and I left them hidden under a table in the meeting room.  To this day they claim there was nothing…
  • My husband called and spoke to their management and nothing has been done at all to even acknowledge all that went down.

After lunch I publically apologised to my participants about the venue and that something just didn’t seem right with what was going on with their culture and systems.  I wanted to make my people aware that I was going to do something about this and that I was sorry as that is not how I run my business.

Yesterday I arrived at Hobart Airport and was booked into the Travelodge near the Airport.  From the moment I landed I found out I could not walk to the hotel so I rang to ask how I get there.  They gave me clear instructions and I was there in a free shuttle greeted by super friendly staff.  I was given clear instructions, shown the meeting room for the next day and asked how I’d like it set up as I changed my mind on the set up due to my lower numbers I though it would be better as a boardroom rather than theatre style. 

To every request and questions this is what happened:

  • Always answers with a smile
  • Willingness to do more than I asked
  • Actioned requests immediately
  • Checked in on me in every way regularly throughout the whole stay without being annoying
  • Were always nearby if I needed help but very discreet
  • Ask me and pre-empted what I needed without needing to ask myself
  • During my meals at the restaurant they were so kind and professional even though this wasn’t as fancy as the Canberra hotel their culture was extraordinary
  • I dealt with around 7 staff overall in my 24 hours there and they all had similar attitude and systems they followed which make my experience consistent and enjoyable.
  • I felt like I was the only person there being taken care of even though both hotels in Canberra and Hobart were equally busy as each other.
  • They also had the best coffee and tea for an event I have ever had

This venue reflected on my brand and type of service perfectly the way I would treat my people.  I was so impressed, felt warm and fuzzy inside and left feeling like I wanted to stay a bit longer and have more of their awesome service.  

So there you have it, 2 weeks, 2 venues, 2 black and white customer experiences.  I do hope they both get to read this blog and take the feedback and an opportunity to learn or an opportunity to pat themselves on the back for a Job Well Done. 

What is it that you do to Wow you Customers.  One of my favourite quotes is: ‘Your Smile is Your Logo, Your Personality is Your Business Card, How you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your Trademark” by Jay Danzie.

Work Hard – Play Hard!

Love Nat x

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