If customer service is so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it like THIS?

Last week I had the privilege of staying at the Hyatt in Denver for the ASTD International Convention.  I was a bit tired upon arrival as I had just flown in from a speech in Edmonton, Canada.

My first realization that this was not a “business as usual” situation was encountering Troy at the front desk.  He immediately welcomed me to the Hyatt, shared his name, and told me to remember it in case I needed anything while I was visiting.

While checking me in, he asked the purpose of my visit to Denver and when I said it was to speak at ASTD, he said, “Then we must get you a quiet room.”  He listened to a special additional request I had and immediately took care of getting my friend a room a few doors away from mine which made my trip incredibly meaningful.  In addition, he made sure that I knew where I was going, had instructions for the elevator  (it required a room key to access the floor I was on—did he know how many times I have exhaustedly stood in the elevator waiting for it to go to my floor and after five minutes  or so realizing it hadn’t moved?)  Lastly, he asked if I needed a wake-up call (I said I would call down later) and said he would take care of my friend when she was due to arrive in an hour.

Just the start of a Legendary Service experience

Troy was just the start of an amazing visit to the Hyatt.  Here are a few other highlights.

When I called for a wake-up call, the lovely person on the line asked me if I would like to order breakfast, schedule a massage, or if she could help me in any way.  WOW—instead of feeling a bit like a pain for asking for help, I was treated like royalty.  I left a note for the housekeeper to leave a few extra decaffeinated green tea bags and she had them arranged in a cup like a flower for me when I got back to my room.

My wake-up call the following morning was a gentle woman who shared it was time to rise and shine and the weather was 57 degrees and she was sure I was going to have a wonderful day.  Within a few minutes, Bob, a young, friendly in-room dining staff member brought me my breakfast and inquired about my day.  He carefully set up the tray and inquired if there was anything else I might need.  He had a vibrant personality that started my day out with hope.

My last interaction was leaving my suitcase with the bellman downstairs.  He exclaimed, “What?? You have to go so soon? We will miss you but we’ll take good care of your bag until you come back later for it.” To my amazement, he even remembered which bag was mine when I came back to retrieve it!

A clear sign of great leadership

Being next door to the convention center, this hotel is probably always packed with people, which could cause many employees to become tired and frustrated.  Instead, they demonstrated an ownership and pride as they served each and every customer at the highest level.  They were personable, friendly, interested, and did things for me that I could have done for myself, but gladly, let someone else do.

To me, this is a sign of excellent leadership at the top of the organization in training employees how to treat their customer and make them feel welcomed.  Great leaders recognize the importance of getting all employees trained on the company’s standards of what excellent service is and then (hopefully) praising the employees’ great efforts!

I know that I felt loved and cared for during my stay at this hotel, and would gladly stay there again and recommend it to others.  That is a sign of Legendary Service—when the service is so good, that your customers are doing the selling for you!

About the author:

Vicki Halsey is one of the principal authors—together with Kathy Cuff—of The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Legendary Service training program.  Their other-focused posts appear on the first and third Thursday of each month.

6 thoughts on “If customer service is so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it like THIS?

  1. Nice post and the title itself really caught my attention. Indeed, with facilities that all hotels tend to have the same, one factor that select us out is the customer service.

  2. I especially liked and appreciated the mention of a “take ownership” mentality and the importance of leadership. I teach customer service and managerial leadership classes frequently and make these points every time. So critical. Excellent blog post!

  3. Pingback: On Leadership, Being Right or Just Making it Right « Linked 2 Leadership

  4. Good post and really excellent customer service. But I don’t agree with the title. It’s really hard to keep customer service at highest level. This needs very hard work and patience, so very few entrepreneurs get this done.

  5. I was thinking about what you would say to the guy who told my buddy and I that his cafe (the Aldo Los Altos on Main Street) in Los Altos, CA, was closed as we walked in. The door was open and there were still about 15 people inside eating… and it was only 9:30PM! All we wanted were a couple beers. We could have been out of there in 30 minutes. Alas, we went across the street to the First and Main Sports Lounge and were met with lots of hellos and smiles. I know where I’m going next time I go to Los Altos (and where I’m not!).

    It is so easy to bend a bit to make a happy (and returning) customer. I just don’t get why so many retail places fail to understand this.

  6. Elvijs is right on. Your post is an excellent example of service, but the point should be that this isn’t easy. It may seem obvious from a guest’s viewpoint, but getting everyone on the same page in a hotel as big as that Hyatt in Denver is no easy feat. And, it only starts with training. That legendary service you experienced must be ingrained in everything that hotel’s staff does and practiced each and every day. Kudos to them for getting it right!

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