A Personal Account of Good Customer Service
One aspect of good customer service is the small interactions that take place between a business and its clients. These can include things like the way a company responds to customer inquiries or complaints, or the way that employees interact with customers in person or on the phone. These small interactions can have a big impact on how a customer feels about a company and can be the difference between a customer feeling valued and appreciated, or feeling ignored, and mistreated.
I recently experienced exceptional customer service during a trip to Bangalore. Excited to travel again after a long period of staying at home, I followed all necessary protocols and provided my vaccination and test information online for an easy check-in. The trip went smoothly until I reached the hotel and was told that my vaccination and test information was not received. Although I had submitted it online, the host couldn't find it. I had to provide the documents again and the process took about 15-20 minutes. Although the check-in was not smooth, it could have been worse given the current COVID situation. To my surprise, the front office manager approached me during my evening walk and addressed the earlier issue. I was given a sincere apology along with an admission that it was a miss from their tool. The manager was polite and kind. We had a brief conversation about the issue and my stay. I was glad that the issue was identified and being addressed, I felt valued and heard. Among other important reasons, not listening in my opinion causes the most resentment in a relationship. And in a business relationship, resentment is probably the last thing you want your clients to feel. Maya Angelou poignantly said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I felt great, but this wasn’t the little wonder I was talking about earlier, it came the following day.
The next day, on a beautiful morning, the hotel's General Manager visited me in my room as I finished my breakfast. They apologized for the previous day's check-in issue and provided more details and a resolution. The issue was not only resolved, but the experience had become positive. What made this experience special was the escalation and resolution of the issue. The Front office manager addressed the issue with me on the evening of my check-in, and the General Manager followed up the next day. This suggests a transparent culture, a psychological safe space, where employees feel comfortable sharing mishaps with their managers and leaders. It also emphasizes the importance of listening to and understanding the needs and requirements of clients. These factors contribute to building trust and creating a "little wonder. Although it’s difficult to emulate this exact formula for your team, we can start by caring a little more. It will always be a service provided with a sincere intention to add value with transparency.