Well, we got back from our amazing mini-vacation on Monday evening last week. I think having Monday off was the best part of travelling. Since we took the in-laws along with us, we stayed at this gorgeous 2 bedroom, 2 living room villa with a private pool. The weather cooperated, cool with a threat of rain, without any actual rain till the day we left. Despite all this wonderful stuff, the absolute best part of the whole experience was the SERVICE.
I’m not one for hotel chains, unless it’s within a city, however, this particular chain always delivers on it’s promise of service. Their food, rooms and facilities are all standard luxury 5-stare quality, nothing unique here. What sets them apart is the willingness of the chef to fine-tune a standard dish into a special one, the ability of the room service people to anticipate your needs and the efforts of the entire team to ensure that their guests truly feel like “the customer is king”.
We got into a routine of having a couple of drinks at the bar every evening before dinner, while on this break. They have a family bar, where children are allowed, and since there wasn’t too much of a crowd on most days, the bar-tenders used to take turns playing with V and giving her crash courses in making mocktails. Now, I can tell you that keeping a three year-old entertained in a bar is not easy. V was so spoilt by the team there, that every evening at the dot of 7, she’d start with “Daddy, it’s time to go to the bar”. (Please don’t call social services yet, this has never happened before).
It was not just V, since I know a lot of hotels do special stuff for children. Take my father in-law for example. This man is very particular when it comes to food, and on day one the head waiter figured out that he was picking at his plate. So, he summoned the chef and from that minute on all my father-in-laws meals were tailored, even if we were at the Sunday brunch with hordes of other people.
When the room service team realised that V loves fruit and yoghurt smoothies, they had one waiting for her in the room every afternoon when she finished her swim!
So apart from wishing that I could just move in permanently, I learnt that what makes a business great rather than good, is it’s service and that means it’s people. So on getting back, the first thing I’ve started working on is a training renewal program that focuses on customer service. Like all service oriented businesses, we have an induction program on joining and yearly technical renewal training (our is a very technical industry), however, we never do a focused retraining on just making your customer feel special. Fingers crossed, that I can get my team to be as customer-oriented as the people who made my vacation amazing.
Any tips or suggestions to help me?
P.S. – I plan to shoot out an email to the hotel’s management team, letting them know how great their staff was.