Are you taking care of your clients?

Last week, my son Charlie and his high school band were selected to be part of the elite group of “Bands of America”. They got to go to Indianapolis, Indiana for a great week of performance and fun! About 90 band members got on two large buses with all their equipment and luggage, and off they went on their long journey from Orlando, FL to Indianapolis. Due to my busy schedule, I decided to fly and meet them there for few days. The entire group stayed at the JW Marriott. I don’t know about you, but when you hear JW Marriott you would think great hotel, great customer service, great food, etc. right? Especially when you pay about $300 per night + Tax + $35 per say to park you car.

One of the nights I was there when I decided to go down for dinner, instead of sitting at a table by myself, I sat at the bar for a light dinner. The bar had few people sitting there, mainly young men who were there attending a motorcycle event. I asked for a menu, and while I was viewing it, I heard the one bartender tell her clients how she was hung over and did not feel too good. I was thinking, “What an inappropriate thing to say!” Finally I got her attention to order my food.

The food came and I started eating, but I couldn’t help but hear the guys next to me complaining about the service. They all had glasses in front of them but they were all empty. Empty glasses in a bar? Who wants that? We noticed the two bartenders go by them a few times, and not once did they stop by and ask them if they would like another drink. We started talking about it and we couldn’t believe how ignorant they were being to their needs.

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How many of your spa team members are out of order?
How many of your spa team members are out of order?

The one guy took out a hundred dollar bill and put it on the counter thinking maybe this will get some attention, but he was wrong. Fifteen minutes went by without one person stopping by and seeing if these men needed anything. Finally they decided to say something and grab the bar tender’s attention. The person next to me said to the bartender, “Have you not noticed that our drinks are empty?” Do you know what the bartender reply was? “What can I get you?”  Not a very nice experience 🙁

Instead of saying “I am so sorry! This one is on us; let me make it up to you,” he said “what can I get you” in a very abrupt and not very accommodating manner. So the guys looked at each other and said nothing. And, they all left disappointed with the bartender’s behavior!

How much do you think the hotel lost that night due to their team’s behavior? Again, remember we were at JW Marriott. Each drink is $12 and up, times three people, and we were waiting for three more friends, plus food! But that’s not all. I am telling you about it, and I am sure that they will be telling everyone they know about. Bad customer service is very expensive!

Now back to my experience: I was done with my Hummus, so I decided maybe I will have a desert. So I asked one of the bartenders about their desert options and which one was the best. You know what his answer was? He said, “Well, I don’t eat dessert so I really don’t know.” I was shocked with his answer and decide not to have anything. I paid my bill and left.

Do you remember the last time you had a wow guest experience? It seems that no matter how much you pay or where, customer service keeps slipping back more and more.

I want to stay hopeful; maybe if everyone focuses on training their teams, these types of situations will be avoided all together. Let’s face it: bad customer service is very expensive. It will ruin your  spa business. What do you do in your business to make sure your team answers guest’s questions appropriately, or make great recommendations, and anticipate people’s needs or taking ownership or their position?

If those bartenders owned the bar, do you think they would have behaved like that? Do you think people would wait to have a drink? Do you think he would have said, “The most popular desert we have is xyz and it is delicious?” Not only did they not take care of us, they stood by the cash register where we could all see them and watched them talk about us. What a shame for the JW Hotels.

I encourage you to focus on delivering a great experience and continuing to invest and train your team so they can help you grow your business, not kill it.  Want help with your guest experience ? contact us we can help.

Share with us your great or bad guest experiences.



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