We’d both sleep easier if I told you that my posts are works of fiction. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Everything you are about to read happened today.I
I am in Los Angeles for a few weeks. Returning to my hotel tonight I overheard the conversation four Parisians were having with the hotel’s concierge, a title that grossly overstated his authority.
They arrived at the hotel one day early. No rooms available. They asked to store their luggage while they tried to find another hotel.
The concierge, the bowl of lint replied as follows, and I quote, “We do not offer that service. If you want to pay for a room for this evening, we can store your luggage.”
Be still my heart. If you’ve been hanging out with the machinations of my mind for a while, you already know that Skippy’s words made my head feel like it was about to explode.
I had the right to remain silent. But I did not have the ability.
The concierge had just crossed hospitality’s Maginot Line.
And so I said to the concierge, “You do not have an available room for them, but you are are proposing to charge them the price of the room, the the room that is not available, to store their luggage tonight.” No wonder the French hate us.
I know Skippy did not invent this policy from whole cloth. An executive defined the rules for Skippy–another bowl of lint.
The hotel, my hotel, has zero amenities. It does not have an ice machine. It does not even provide a coffee pot or a vending machine.
I told the Parisians they could store their luggage in my room–and being a devout capitalist, I offered to provide that service for a nominal fee–half of the price of the room for which they would have been charged by the hotel, plus a twenty dollar surcharge if their luggage required the use of the nonexistent ice machine.
Here’s my point. Creating great customer experience is very simple. Creating bad customer experience requires a lot of work. It requires failure at multiple decision points. It requires that executives abdicate their responsibility.
Great customer experience is defined by four words–do the right thing.