Throughout the journey I made some interesting observations.
While in Northbridge, Western Australia, I stayed in a hotel which demonstrated how easily you can go from Hero to Zero in customer service.
Upon checkout, and after settling my account, I was informed there was a bar charge for three local beers that night. $27 – I was shocked! Not because of the price, I could buy a slab of imported beer for the same amount, or because of the sign at reception advertising 'Take a 6-Pack to Your Room for $20.' No, I was unimpressed at the sour face and angry defense at my query on the price. I reluctantly paid and told them they should remove the confusing advertising sign.
Raving Fan scale down to minus 2 on this hotel.
Composing myself we began the seminar at the same hotel. During the morning break I collected myself a cup of tea and a muffin which, unfortunately, I had not had time to touch.
As we broke for lunch the staff began refreshing the room. I commented to one as he took the muffin away that I am sorry I did not get to eat it as the session had been so busy. He asked me "Can I get you a fresh one?" "No, no," I said "It's OK."
Upon returning from lunch, there on my table was a cling wrapped muffin and a sticky note which read "Enjoy" and a smily face. Ahhhh... my faith in exceptional customer service in Australia was reignited.
Raving Fan scale now a high 8.
Was that simple act in the induction manual? No. Was that random act of kindness discussed in the staff meeting? No.
It was a choice of attitude in a human being to do better and go beyond text book process and basic service.
No matter what you build, how well you paint it, how far you promote it, your strategic advantage will always come down to how well your people smile, engage, go over and beyond on the little things that matter, like a muffin and a sticky note.
Well done Andrew at All Seasons Northbridge.