August 23, 2011

What one employee can do for your customer experience

What’s your customer experience worth?  And what can one person do about it?

How about making 50 people with thousands of nights’ stays willing to stand up for you?

There’s this woman.  Her name is Peggy.  She’s a hotel concierge.  In my opinion, I think it takes a certain amount of humility coupled with a huge dose of gregariousness to be a hotel concierge.  You spend your time serving and cleaning plates and make sure there is enough coffee/tea/water/wine around to meet the needs of your guests.  That’s the job description.

What’s not in the job description:  remembering almost every guest’s name, even if they haven’t been in the hotel for months, conning a whole room of supposedly high status professionals to watch American Idol with you and helping them become friends with each other – like “know each other’s names, companies and lives” friends with each other. When you’re that person, you’re Peggy Galante.  And what happens when Peggy says she might have to leave to leave us?

Well, as you might expect, it starts with a bit of letter writing.  Where it went was 50 gold and platinum members using word of mouth who were willing to say we care about the lounge and the person who makes the lounge a lot more like our living room.  To be honest, we simply asked for a few things.  However, there is not a change they could make for us more important than keeping that one employee who cares.

What happened – the General Manager’s commitment to seeing us happy – was not only good, but heartening.  Being unabashedly afraid to stick up for good service is a great and rewarding thing to do.

Don’t miss the opportunity to point out Customer Experience success when you find it, even if you aren’t lucky enough to have 49 friends in the living room/lounge to join you.    Someone who cares about great customer experience is worth the effort.


To see more of Cristene’s thoughts about customer experience and other general musings, you can read them on her blog Muse and Maven.

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