Epic client complaint handling by a US hotel (AMAZING!)

I’m not sure how you deal with customer complaints but this US hotel shows why the Americans have such a strong reputation for customer service. When I first heard this true story (thanks for sharing Joe Reevy) it blew me away.

It’s an interesting one, for sure, but the message it screams out loud and clear is the real take-away.

It made me ask myself “am I doing enough when things don’t go to plan and can I actually make it work to my advantage?”

Anyway, take a look and see what you think – as usual I’ll be MEGA grateful if you could leave a comment for others to read.

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Posted in 5 Client Management, Blog, Differentiation In the Sales Process, Sales Customer Service
17 comments on “Epic client complaint handling by a US hotel (AMAZING!)
  1. Martin says:

    Great story Mike.
    Shows the importance of hiring the right people who care enough to look at problems as opportunities. But also the importance of structuring the business to enable that to happen (create the budget to deal with the complaint AND the KPIs to ensure that staff are incentivised to take them seriously). One without the other doesn’t work

    • Mike Ames says:

      Thanks Martin. I completely agree: a strong process without good people won’t work and good people without a strong process is just more difficult.

  2. Giles Adams says:

    I can’t recall the stats, but something along the lines “you tell 8 people about a bad experience, and 3 about a good one”

    A problem taken in this example reverberates, the cost of the meal is insignificant to the goodwill it generates.

    • Mike Ames says:

      That’s absolutely true Giles which is another reason to sort out any problems before they become issues. After all I’m writing about it and hundreds of people will read what I’ve written – how cool is that for the Hyatt?

  3. Joe Reevy says:

    Well, I also have one about the Walt Disney Co (is it them was) which is nearly as good!

  4. Kevin Briggs says:

    Mike, you don’t need to go to the US for this. Recently the I went to a business lunch at the Red Lion at Boreham near Chelmsford and they forgot to serve the lunch. A gentle reminder was all we gave but it resulted in a free lunch!

  5. Mike Ames says:

    That behaviour does exist Kevin and isn’t it great when you experience it?

  6. Excellent story Mike. I had a similar experience, albeit on smaller scale, at Pret a Manger, some years back. I used the same store day after day near where I worked. The staff used to know what I was going to order as I crossed the threshold, but if that wasn’t good enough, one day, out of the blue, one of them said to me, “coffee is on us today, you’ve been waiting too long”. I hadn’t complained, I didn’t even think I had waited that long, but boy did that blow me away. This was over 10 years ago, and the staff’s attitude hasn’t changed, they still offer the odd free coffee every now and then. I know it costs them little, but the gesture matters a lot and I go out of my way to buy Pret’s stuff, and sing their praise! – get customers to become your advocates, now that’s a neat trick.

    • Mike Ames says:

      Thanks for the comment Olivier. If you want to be inspired with new ways to “WOW!” your clients the retail and leisure sector is the place to look. I think I might give Pret a go in the future – see it works!

  7. Love this Mike – it always shows that if you go that extra mile, people will recommend you

    • Mike Ames says:

      That’s what it’s all about Andrea – turn a failure into a positive and the client will buy even more (as well as tell loads of people about you). Thanks for the comment, as always.

  8. Thank you for sharing Mike, as you know I’m big on customer service, going the extra mile etc. What a lot of businesses fail to do is to cascade this ethos from the owner or board down to their staff to give them the empowerment to make those decisions to go further than just putting it right. I love my ‘sili’ features as you know, but sadly there aren’t many companies that get it. I just about to remind my staff of this and share your video.

    • Mike Ames says:

      Thanks Wendy. You are welcome and glad you can use it with the team. Let me know if you want me to record anything else that would be useful. Always looking for subjects for new blog posts and video blogs. Love those sili features eh?

  9. Simon Pettit says:

    Great story Mike……also interesting that the culture of the Company (presumably) allowed the problem to be escalated to the Manager, i.e. it wasn’t kept quiet.r

    • Mike Ames says:

      Hey, great to hear from you Simon. Totally agree with the culture point. Again, too many companies actually don’t want to know about unhappy customers. It’s a shame because they are the ones who have the best feedback for you.

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