Recently my family took a short weekend road trip. There was an event in a nearby city that we wanted to get an early start on, so it made sense for us to drive there the night before and get a hotel room. We decided to use a prominent and aptly-named internet service to help us book said room, and found a reasonable rate within about 30 miles of our destination.
We hit the road late that night and arrived at the hotel just after midnight to find several other patrons standing in the lobby looking tired. It was past midnight, after all, so a tired look was to be expected.
I came to find, over the next 35 minutes, that the establishment was staffed very poorly, and managed even poorly-er. In the hunt for available beds, the gentleman at the desk began calling several rooms that were supposedly unoccupied, only to discover other sleeping guests. His story was that the internet connection to the hotel was down and he had no way to verify reservations. The workaround for the outage was writing down credit card information on slips of paper that he planned to charge “later.”
We ended up calling the 800 number for our web service to cancel our room and hopefully get a refund on our credit card.
The happy ending came when the web service cancelled our reservation, secured us a refund and then applied a $50 credit to our account for the next time we used their service.
(Pay attention to this part customer service pros…) Even at 1am, less than 20 minutes after a horrible experience, good customer service made all of the aggravation disappear. Here are some of the factors that lead to the service’s recovery, from a customer’s point of view: 24-hour availability, short hold time, a CSR who had a command of the customer’s native language, quick and decisive action taken while we were still on the phone, and the icing on the cake… a credit to ensure that we will try again. And we will.
What are you doing to ensure that your customers are well taken-care of, and feeling motivated to continue in your relationship? And yes… I know “poorly-er” isn’t a word.
Third Silhouette From The Left