She was busy and preoccupied when I approached the hotel registration desk. After a few seconds, she put down her pen, exhaled loudly and looked up at me. I clearly felt like an interruption to whatever paperwork she was scrutinizing – not an ideal customer service event. She perfunctorily asked how she could help. “I’d like to register,” I said, after which she confirmed my registration, then hastily swiped the magnetic keys to my room and pointed me towards the elevator. When I arrived at my fifth floor room my keys didn’t work. I tried both keys twice. I was tired, frustrated and disappointed. After taking the elevator back down to the lobby to ask for help, she apologized and made the mistake of saying, “I’m not sure how that happened; I hope your door lock isn’t broken.” Then she swiped another set of keys which worked fine when I took the elevator back up the fifth floor. Did she make a mistake the first time? Was she too rushed, distracted and harried to pay attention to a customer? You decide.
Hospitality Customer Service Lesson: When hotel guests approach the counter, stop what you’re doing and smile, make eye contact and greet guests as though you really mean it. Then, pay attention to the little details to ensure your guest’s expectation of good hospitality.