I read a nice article in the September edition of Customer Relationship Management magazine entitled “The Hospitality Suite” (http://bit.ly/cSTDgT) which tells a nice story about the Gaylord hotel chain’s ability to track customers needs/wants and provide them over time.
Specifically, the writer of the article tweeted than she would love some cornbread. Gaylord employees were monitoring twitter and told the writer where she could find some cornbread and then delivered some to her room when she visited another Gaylord property four months later.
Amy Atkinson, Gaylord Hotels’ vice president of leisure marketing and public relations noted that one of the six service basics on which all Gaylord customer service reps are trained are to “Discover and Delight” our guests. This is a wonderful goal. However, businesses shouldn’t forget the fundamentals.
Three and a half years ago my sister in-law flew into to Orlando for a meeting and checked into the Gaylord Palms. Unfortunately, between the time my sister in-law left RDU and arrived in Orlando her mother passed away. I had to deliver the news via phone at midnight. I called the front desk to see if they had anyone on-call for bereavement services and they had no one. This seems very odd and thoughtless for a hotel that wants to discover and delight guests.
While knowing someone’s wants is admirable and will help to build a loyal customer-base, the lack of basic services for extraordinary circumstances is an oversight that should be corrected at the same time you strive to discover and delight guests.
Do you have the fundamentals covered before you focus on discovering and delighting guests?