I thought I had a handle on good client service, after all I’m Mr Mike “set yourself apart by what you do” Ames. Well I had a recent experience at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore that made me think again. Oh, and before you say “well the Raffles Hotel can afford to do these things” think again – these added-extras didn’t cost them a penny.
1. Shell fish allergy
Mrs Ames is allergic to shell fish in a BIG way. She spent our 25th wedding anniversary in the bathroom of our hotel in Sorrento after eating poached (in fish stock it later transpired) sole.
So I am at the concierge sorting out our next days activities. He was suggesting places for lunch and asked if I like fish because he knew a really great one not far away. I explained that due to the fragile nature of Mrs Ames’ constitution when it came to fishy comestibles we gave them a wide berth. I then booked us into the Tiffin restaurant at the hotel for that evening and left it at that.
When we arrived at the restaurant the maitre d’ seated us and then proceeded to explain which dishes had any kind of shell fish exposure. We were mightily impressed. The concierge had obviously informed the restaurant who had then acted on that knowledge rather than letting it slip through the net.
Nothing more than being organised and caring enough to make the effort.
2. Lost in the Hotel
I’ve got to be honest with you I’m not good on orientation, especially when I’m in a large hotel with loads of shops, passages and blocks of rooms none of which are built in a regular pattern.
It took us a good 15 minutes to find the Long Bar in the hotel. When we arrived the lady on the door asked us if we were guests and if so what our room number was. We were shown to a nice corner table and 2 seconds later the waiter arrived and called us by name as did the person who bought over our drinks and the floor manager who came round to see if everything was OK. We shared our “getting lost in the hotel” story – oh how we all laughed.
That was pretty good but it wasn’t the best bit. When we had signed for our drinks a waiter appeared and muttered something about the hotel being “difficult to navigate sometimes” and insisted on walking us all the way to reception. They didn’t need to be asked they just did it.
Once again, nothing more than being organised and caring enough to make the effort.
So what can we conclude after 4 hours in the Raffles Hotel?
1. Listen to the wishes, needs and preferences of your clients.
2. Have a process and a training regime to ensure people know what to listen out for and what to do with what they hear.
3. Hire people who care.
4. ALWAYS PUT YOUR CLIENTS NEEDS ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE.
So it’s not about big budgets at all just an obsession to create delighted clients who enthuse about them in their blog posts.
The big question is do you have a Raffles approach to client service and if not what would you need to do to create one?