Sunday, April 28, 2013

Irritating Customer Service

As soon as I entered the Hilton lobby, a young man approached.

“I’m the assistant front desk manager” he said. "I’ll take you to Mr. Frank’s room.”

“I know how to get there.”

“He’s a VIP. We want to make sure everything goes smoothly.”

We took the elevator to the penthouse. The manager knocked. When the door opened, he announced the doctor’s arrival, waved me inside, and walked off.

It seems a no-brainer that when a hotel provides good customer service it should (a) provide the service and (b)… there is no “b.” It simply provides the service.

But hotels can’t leave well enough alone. They feel the irresistible urge to (a) provide the service and (b) MAKE SURE THE GUEST KNOWS IT!!!

For example, when I phone a hotel I want to reach my party quickly, but I’m forced to listen to something like, “Good morning. Welcome to the Del Mar, the premier choice for business and pleasure in Southern California. This is Roxanne. How may I serve your every need?” (I’m not making this up).

I’ve never understood why businesses order employees to greet everyone who passes. It’s supposed to be a friendly greeting, but no one can keep up the cheer after greeting a few hundred strangers, so I’m forced to respond to a string of bored salutations as I make my way to a guest’s room. The poor housekeepers (whose English may be limited to “good morning”) don’t look up from their work as I pass but dutifully follow orders.   

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