I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and got a wake-up call in my hotel room. I had asked for 6:30 a.m. The call came at 6:43.
I had an early morning appointment, so the delay was indeed unwelcome. But the automated wake-up message was worse. It said, “Good morning. This is your wake-up call. The time is 7:30 a.m.”
The automated hotel wake-up system had gone off the correct time by an hour and thirteen minutes.
I wondered how long it had been that way. I wondered how many other guests had heard equally off-base recordings. I wondered if the hotel management or staff would ever discover the problem and take steps to improve customer experience.
Being the kind of guy I am, I called the Front Office to tell them about the situation so they could take steps to improve customer experience. A disinterested morning voice replied, “Thank you. I’ll tell someone to do something about it.” I wondered if she would do anything to improve customer experience for the next guy with a wake-up call.
Later in the week I stayed at the JFK Hilton in New York. I asked for a wake-up call at 6:00 a.m. The call came at 6:00 a.m. sharp, but the crude recording had all the vocal appeal of a mugging in process: “This is a wake-up call from the Hilton at JFK.” Click. Buzz. Over.
In Singapore, I often call upon a local association that employs the handicapped for office projects. They do a great job with assembly, mailing and database input. But their telephone system is a nightmare and does nothing to improve customer experience.
If you get transferred from one caller to another, or get put “on hold” during the conversation, you will hear the pain. Loud static. Loud radio station static. The kind of static you get when the radio is not tuned to any particular station, but the volume is cranked up high!
I’ve told them about it five times, but they haven’t fixed the problem. After all, they don’t hear it. They don’t put themselves on hold.
Key Learning Point To Improve Customer Experience
Listen up! You can learn from these misadventures. Auditory perception points make a big difference to your customers and colleagues. Improve customer service by addressing them.
Action Steps To Improve Customer Experience
Double-check your voice mail message. Listen to your on-hold words and music. Write warm and welcoming scripts for all your telephone staff to improve customer experience. Pay attention to the musical background in your office and lobby areas. And put a smile on your face. We can hear it in the sound of your voice and it will improve customer experience.
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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” book and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpliftingService.com.
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