Thursday, December 20, 2012

Its not Size or Prestige that Count in Customer Service

I am continually amazed when I stay in hotels to find that some of the less expensive hotels provide the most customer service. I’m not referring in this case to the Intercontinental Hotel chain which is renowned for its customer service but comparing larger more expensive hotels to say the Hampton Inn where I often stay.

If one stays in a more expensive hotel you end up paying quite often for parking, Internet access and breakfast. The less expensive Hampton Inn provides all of these amenities at no extra charge in most all of its locations except some cities way you may end down paying for parking. Granted, the little amenities such as shampoo may not be quite as exotic but they are there. Interestingly enough I have stated enough hotels in my work to see that hotels such as the Hampton Inn also provide a very comfortable bed were as some of the more expensive hotels I stayed at had beds that were like rocks. Moreover at the smaller and often less expensive hotels I find that people go out of their way to greet you and ask how your stay was. Moreover, they provide a free hot breakfast and wireless; something that more expensive hotels do do not.

I find too often that staying in fancier, more expensive hotels is a less personal experience than staying in a smaller one. It almost seems as if some of the larger or posh hotels have an attitude which seems to be saying that you’re very fortunate to be able to be staying here. In some ways that is like to many expensive name brand colleges and universities.

This is not a testimonial for the Hampton Inn but a way of leading into a discussion that centers on the fact that you do not have to be a large expensive institution to be able to provide great customer service. In fact what we have found in our work is that often the larger institutions have such a high opinion of themselves that they provide pretty poor customer service. Moreover, smaller colleges and universities can outdo the larger more expensive ones every time when it comes to customer service if they but think about it a little more.

One of the things that I enjoyed quite a bit at the smaller hotels for example is the personalized service that I am able to get. The people at the front desk stand to be less pretentious and more interested in trying to make your stay one that will bring you back. They after all want return business. They want to retain their clients. So they take the extra step to make certain that everyone in the hotel goes out of his or her way to treat their customers well.

I am always impressed when I walk through the lobby and someone at the front desks immediately recognizes me going by and asked me how my day is going. You make they come easily impressed but this is the right type of customer service that clients want. They want to be made to feel important. This is the same type of customer service that students want. They want to feel important.

Student should be recognized and greeted every time they pass a desk or an employee of the institution. They should be given a sincere smile and asked how things are going. This is just like the type of service one expects and wants from a hotel or for that matter most every business. Larger institutions don’t do this. They seem to have an attitude that you’re lucky to be here so we don’t have to treat you nicely. But you can make your institution your college or university seem like a good hotel and make sure that all of your customers are made to feel important and special.

It is not a matter of money but of concern for the customer that counts. It is not the prestige of the college or university but the desire to treat its students as welcome members of it. Every school can do it and yours certainly should.

Happy Holiday to all!

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