Difficult customers trigger service quality

Returning from a relaxing wellness-weekend in Austria I am still wondering about the complaints of the hotel owner (aged about 40) this morning during breakfast: “In earlier days our guests were a lot more easy going. No complaints about dinners, the kind of music played at ceremonial occasions, etc. Nowadays most of them dislike this and that, want to change the menues and do not return for holidays if they objected to the smallest things.”

Re-phrasing those ‘objecting guests’ as different target groups in search of their individuell benefits I asked her whether that could be seen as an opportunity (as we learned in marketing class). She shook her head and replied sadly: “No, you won’t please everybody.” And then she changed the topic.

I mean – this is sad reality: Marketing tells us to translate a complaint into a positive customer communication and people at the PoS don’t get it. They do not r-e-a-l-i-z-e their customer’s cry for help: “Please, Ms Hotel Boss, please change this smallest aspect of my personal perception of your service and I’ll be satisfied.”

Yeah – I know – that is theory. In daily operations we have to force ourselves to meta-think in this way – to convert anger into satisfaction. But – give it a try. Ask yourself every day if you perhaps missed a chance of retaining a customer.

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