On a recent business trip, my father ran into some trouble with his hotel room. On the first morning there during his shower, the water went from warm to freezing cold and never returned to normal.
After finishing in cold water and getting ready for the day, he notified the front desk of the problem. They reassured him it would be fixed.
The next day, all seemed fine in the shower but the temperature dropped suddenly. Once again he had to finish in freezing water.
Afterward, Dad went to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager. The clerk at the counter disappeared into the manager’s office. The manager then promptly came out of the office and invited my Dad in to speak with him.
Dad was a little shocked that he was so quickly greeted and even invited into the office. He retold his story of broken maintenance promises and freezing showers. He even told the manager that he wanted to be compensated for his troubles.
The manager didn’t miss a beat and agreed completely. He arranged to have the first few nights’ fees waived, the shower repair really made, and the remainder of his stay billed at a discounted rate.
This manager did a great job resolving my father’s concerns and refunding him for the problems. However, this was all set up by the fact that the manager was available and accessible.
Are you accessible to your customers?
If you’re the boss or owner of a business, how hard is it to reach you? Can customers request to speak with you in person? Via phone? What about posting your email address on your website?
The closer you are to the customer, the better you’ll be able to respond to customer needs as you guide the company’s direction.
Don’t isolate yourself or get too far removed from the people you serve: the customers.