You will not succeed in providing superior customer service if you always ask yourself questions and ask, “But this ladder?âWhenever you envision a new and thoughtful gesture for a client or guest, while I explore my clients whenever I get the chance (I’m a customer service improvement consultant, trainer, and eLearning designer. )
You must first get down to the best interests of the customer in front of you now and later determine if you want to provide a similar service on a large scale for additional customers and if so, if there is a more efficient and streamlined way by doing so. (And if there isn’t, it’s worth offering the service on a large scale, even in the original un-simplified way.)
Halcyon, a luxuriously relaxed hotel in Denver’s upscale Cherry Creek neighborhood, has built its spectacularly hospitable guest experience by never, it seems to me, prematurely asking that service-killing question: “But that’s it. it evolve? ”
How about putting a $ 2,000 Peloton exercise bike by the bed in a few of their rooms? When a member of their staff suggested doing so (in response to customer feedback during Covid), Halcyon went there. Would that mean Halcyon would have to scale up to put Platoons in each of its 154 hotel rooms? This, like so many questions asked by the faint-hearted, would turn out to be a non-problem. Most of the guests who come to Halcyon are not looking for this kind of exercise in their rooms, it turns out, although those who are really delighted with the gesture.
(And those who aren’t fans of the bed / bike juxtaposition are at least amused. My wife falls into the latter category; when I sent her a photo of the Peloton next to the bed in my guest room [she wasnât able to join me on this trip], she texted back: “Ambitious, but a little critical, right?)
Most notably, Halcyon hasn’t capped their level of service for fear of not being able to evolve the particularly courteous, never rushed conversational customer service that their employees offer you from the moment you walk in. Part of Halcyon’s ability to provide such an elegant and high-quality service requires sufficient staff, which requires both financial commitment and logistical know-how, including Halcyon’s parent organization, Makeready, which operates five Additional hotels, all equally unique and renowned, is known for. Part of it depends on hiring (or, my favorite term, âselectingâ) the right team of employees. (Resource for readers: If you can benefit from my guidelines for hiring and selecting future customer service superstars, email me at [email protected] and I will send it to you immediately.)
Part of it depends on training and retraining these nascent service superstars to their full potential.
External video resource: Customer service training on the LAM service recovery method (working with unhappy or angry customers)
And part of it, in a unique way, comes from the thinking that went into the design of the interior spaces of Halcyon. Consider the front desk check-in desk: it’s actually across the marble kitchen counter of the hotel’s always-bustling Local Jones restaurant (also operated by Makeready).
The result, as Managing Director of Halcyon, Jason Delcamp, who has worked for the company for the past five years of a varied and successful career in the hospitality industry, is that âinstead of the often routine interactions and Even the mundane involved in guest check-in, there’s now an opportunity for the conversational people we employ here to engage customers, find out what brings them to Denver and Cherry Creek, and start thinking about which will make their stay with us as pleasant as possible.
As a guest, I enjoyed this very much. âI will be staying at other hotels, even better ones,â I told Delcamp, âand in the few minutes between when I stop and when I get to my room, you could ask maybe four times, ‘How was your trip in today?’ This did not happen here. Everyone at Halcyon has had something different, something genuine and at least somewhat Micah-related, to discuss with me. You know what I mean?”
âWell you might get a ‘how was your trip today’ comment or two here,â Delcamp confessed, âat least a day off, but I’m very confident you’ll never get it. four. We try to find out something about each of our arriving guests as quickly as possible, and learn more about them as the day progresses so that each exchange and interaction is more meaningful than the last, and j hope that we are seldom as robotic and deafening in our exchanges as what you have just described. Our approach, I hear a lot about it, is both appreciated by our customers and makes working days a lot more fun for our employees as well.
At Halcyon there is a palpable feeling that they are professionals who know what they are doing but are open to creating the experience that you, the guest, prefer to have, not the one they think you are. should to have. This openness also extends to the speed with which errors are corrected. When I pointed out that a well-intentioned Covid improvisation – a Purcell station and a temporary hand wiping – was blocking wheelchair access to the lobby elevator button, and reminded him that elevators are essential to the mission of wheelchair customers who need to be able to park in their wheelchairs and push the button to call an elevator on their own, Megan Seymore, the very engaged (and engaging) front desk manager at Halcyon told me : ” It is totally true ; I’ll move it now “and took care of it on the lobby floor before my eyes ; Quickly realizing that the same problem existed on other floors of the hotel as well, she fixed it the next day as well.
Delcamp, the Managing Director, attributes this responsiveness to suggestions, this dominant culture where “a complaint is a gift and a constructive suggestion even more” to “ever improving ways we have learned from our relationship with the Makeready mothership.” Makeready is a unique company that has taught us all to have a mindset that I would describe as âhey let’s make sure we think about the little things as well as the big things everydayâ. And who better to tell us where we could do better on big and small issues than the people who see the effect of both, our guests as well, of course, as our employees. “