My family and I have just returned from an eight-day 1300-mile road trip in the family minivan. (We´ll pause here to offer thanks to whomever invented the DVD player for cars.)
Four of the nights we stayed at various Holiday Inn motels. All of them offered very courteous customer service, especially Holiday Inn´s in Shreveport, LA and Huntsville, AL. Normally, when you talk about customer service in the hospitality industry it´s the high-end hotels you hear about. But every single maid, maintenance worker, desk clerk, and others at the Huntsville Holiday Inn made it look effortless as each greeted us when we passed them in the halls or in the lobby. I had forgotten how nice it was to be acknowledged as a customer. More than that, they made me feel welcome.
This seems so simple (and inexpensive) yet so few companies do it.
It made me stop and think about my organization. I´ve long made it a habit to help people in our building and parking lot who looked like they needed help. But I hadn´t really made it a habit to greet them when I walked past as someone else was helping them. I mentioned this to one of my co-workers and he pointed out that this should also extend to other employees as well. I usually do that, but I had missed one that very day. @$%^$!!
The other thing I noticed about the Huntsville Holiday Inn was that there was a rack of business cards at the front desk. In addition to the general manager, other department heads (sales, maintenance, housekeeping, etc.) had their cards there as well. It was obvious that this general manager put a high premium on customer service.
Do your employees greet customers as they walk by? Do all employees work to make every customer feel welcome? Is your department heads´ contact information easily accessible (Web site, business cards, building directory, etc.)?
It’s such a small thing; yet so important.