Recently I did a seminar in Kuala Lumpur. Because it was
a long way from home I invited my wife (Debbie) to join me.
The seminar was about customer service and how to use
better service to increase customer loyalty. My client informed me that in this
part of the world (Malaysia) many companies had a lower standard of customer
service than we do in North America.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. (You can see pictures here.)
But one thing really stood out for me: the hotel staff.
Right away we were overwhelmed at how courteous and helpful the hotel
employees were. And they were everywhere! No matter where we went, there were
employees, eager to tend to our needs.
And, no matter what they were doing, every employee stopped, made eye contact
and greeted us when we walked by. When I say every employee, I really do mean
every employee. They were 100% consistent.
This impressed me to no end. I can only imagine the training and management
they have in place to create this wonderfully consistent and welcoming
experience. It made an positive and memorable impact on us.
But the experience fell apart at the front desk.
The front desk people seemed to do more things wrong than they did right.
They couldn’t seem to handle any situation that was out of the ordinary. I won’t
replay the litany of mistakes they made but it was frustrating. And it was a
striking contrast to the rest of the staff and the service they provided.
Clearly there is a gap in the training, management or processes in this
hotel. Something is out of balance and needs to be fixed.
The problems caused by the front desk crew will (in many cases) outweigh the
wonderful service provided by the rest of the hotel staff. These become a stain
on an otherwise fantastic experience.
Don’t let the same thing happen to your company.
As you work to improve service, make sure you are improving service in ALL
areas of your organization. Just like a car needs air in all four tires,
organizations need all teams working well and focused on delivering an amazing
experience to the customers.