Above & Beyond

posted: Friday, April 4, 2014

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Going above and beyond the call is what separates one company from another. It might something relatively small that may make the difference between a spectacular occurrence and one that goes forgotten. The primary objective of customer service is to see each and every customer leave happy, and return again and again.

My wife and I decided to get away for a couple of days this summer and we booked our hotel room. About a week after making the reservation, we received a coupon in the mail for one free night for the same hotel. The policy on the coupon says that in order to use this special it must be presented at the time the reservation is being made. However it never hurts to ask, right?

We called the hotel and explained that we had made the reservation only a week before receiving the coupon, and had we known it was coming we obviously would have waited to make the reservation. After some back and forth with the representative on the phone, she asked me to hold while she checked with her manager. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with consulting with a supervisor or a manager. They are there, in part, to provide guidance.

The representative returned quickly and said that they would be happy to honor the coupon, and we received one of our two nights for free. That would have been more than enough; the hotel had all ready gone above and beyond.

In addition to honoring the coupon when they could have easily hidden behind their policy, the hotel also gave us another coupon for a free night to be used for a future reservation. Not only did they satisfy us for this trip, but the hotel also ensured that we would return in the future.

Sure the hotel lost one night of revenue but what they gained is so much more valuable. They gained two customers who will continue to go to that hotel in the future and they probably gained some customers because of referrals. Rules are important but nothing is more important than a happy customer.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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