If you had asked me two days ago about a hotel stay I had in Canada last weekend I would be "bad-mouth" blogging about the company. Instead, I am about to go on and on about how great they are. How did they turn a disappointed customer into someone who is dying to tell people to give them a try? Let's take a peek.
To set the stage:
I have stayed at this firm's hotels exclusively when traveling in Canada for the past two years. Why? Clean, good rooms, quiet, friendly staff who seem to actually like the toddler I have with me (even when she's having a tantrum).
During this trip, there were several things that happened that weren't up to my idea of the standards for this hotel--ideas I had formed based on past experiences. When I came home, they were still bugging me, so I decided to write an email to the General Manager.
They have earned my brand loyalty over the past two years. I like them. I like staying there. They cannot buy the loyalty of somebody off the street with a fancy ad campaign, the most they can hope for is that the person who reads the ads will try them. I'm already hooked. I will pay full price to stay there, I will eat in their on-site restaurants. So, I wondered, how will they handle a short list of grievances from a loyal customer? Will they even recognize that I'm a loyal customer?
The GM replied to me almost immediately from his BlackBerry. Now, I know this is a busy type of job to have, so brownie points to him for being prompt.
The following day, as promised, the hotel manager contacted me by phone and went through each point.
As a bonus, they offered me a free night's stay.
That's nice, but that's not why I'm writing this post. It's a nice perk to be sure, but that wasn't why I wrote to them in the first place.
I wrote because I have expectations about their brand, and when they fell short, I wanted them to know so they could do better. Kind of like the friend who will tell you when you have spinach in your teeth.
And they took me up on the conversation I started with them, and brought it around to a positive conclusion.
So, think about what they did right:
They listened to what I said
They showed empathy for my experience
They demonstrated that they valued me as a customer
They will work at making changes for future guests
They thanked me for my input
How do you handle customer complaints? What works well?
Oh, and the hotel group? Delta hotels. If you are in Canada, well worth it. If you have kids, even more worth it. I can't wait for the chance to tell someone about them again.