Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
Gone are the days when even the risk of a customer complaint struck horror in the eyes of a hospitality manager. Close to a decade ago, I emailed a gripe to Kelly's Roast Beef in Massachusetts. Within 24 hours, I had a call from the manager who as horrified, embarrassed and eager to make things right. I didn't care about the free meal offer – in fact, I turned it down twice before giving in – it was the attitude that made the difference. He was genuinely upset that he was losing a single customer, and the prospect of that didn't sit well with him. Now, so many years later, this remains my go-to story about customer service perfection.
Today, that seems to be gone – or at least scarcer. For some restaurants and other hospitality companies, even in the luxury space, it's the belief that a certain amount customer churn is to be expected. Or that brand is irrelevant. Or that intermediaries (such as online booking sites) have made price the motivator, obviating the need for a commitment to customer service excellence. In a recent case for me, at The Mercer Kitchen, in the Mercer Hotel, it was clear that brand was the problem – namely that a cool, upscale spot didn't need to worry about customer satisfaction.
Using this experience, let's take a look at five things you should be wary of when expressing your concerns to a hospitality manager; they indicate that your complaint isn't being handled properly: