Skip to main content

Communication and Customer Service

An extremely funny story that demonstrates the importance of listening to your customers.  

This is some correspondence which actually occurred between a London hotel's staff and one of its guests. The London hotel involved submitted this to the Sunday Times. No name was mentioned.

-------------------------------------------------
Dear Maid,
Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way. Thank you,
S. Berman
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Room 238,
I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory. 
Kathy, Relief Maid
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Maid -- I hope you are my regular maid.
Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won't need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.
S. Berman

-------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. Berman,
My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn't remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can of further assistance.
Your regular maid,
Dotty
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. Berman,
The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this A.M. that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you.
Elaine Carmen
Housekeeper
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Miss Carmen,
It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 745 AM and don't get back before 530 or 6PM. That's the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bath-room shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap. Why are you doing this to me?
S. Berman
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. Berman,
Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you,
Elaine Carmen,
Housekeeper
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. Kensedder,
My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.
S. Berman
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. Berman,
I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room. The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.
Martin L. Kensedder
Assistant Manager
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Mrs. Carmen,
Who the hell left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap. I don't want 54 little bars of Camay. I want my one damn bar of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I have 54 bars of soap in here. All I want is my bath size Dial. Please give me back my bath-size Dial.
S. Berman
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. Berman,
You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them. The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily (sic). I don't know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays. I don't know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.
Elaine Carmen
Housekeeper

-------------------------------------------------
Dear Mrs. Carmen,
Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory. As of today I possess:
  • On shelf under medicine cabinet - 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
  • On Kleenex dispenser - 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3.
  • On bedroom dresser - 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet, 1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
  • Inside medicine cabinet - 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
  • In shower soap dish - 6 Camay, very moist.
  • On northeast corner of tub - 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.
  • On northwest corner of tub - 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.
Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries. One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-sized Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstandings.
S. Berman
-------------------------------------------------


Ok, I know that this seems extremely funny and silly, but think about it from the Customer's perspective.  He has obviously passed the point of frustration.  Do you think he'll be coming back to this establishment?  Will he be recommending them to anyone else?  I think the answer to both of those questions is a resounding - NO!  It is important to remember that you need to "Listen" to your customer - don't just hear them but listen to what they are actually telling you.  More often than not a small problem can be avoided early on by taking this approach.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Difference Between Incident Managment and Problem Management

Incident Management and Problem Management are both key components of the ITIL service model and have been defined and created in an effort to provide a better and more streamlined service to consumers.
ITIL itself stands for the - Information Technology Infrastructure Library - and comprises of the following books:
ITIL Service Strategy ITIL Service Design ITIL Service Transition ITIL Service Operation ITIL Continual Service ImprovementIncident Management and Problem Management are both elements of the fourth volume - ITIL Service Operation, which tries to define the best practice for dealing with interruptions to a customers service. What is an Incident? An incident is a single - unique - issue impacting one specific customer and their service. While there can be many similar incidents impacting multiple customers, each of them are in their fashion unique and need to be logged and treated as such.
An example of an incident is you losing your home Internet connection. While the underly…

What is PRINCE2

PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and is a very popular method for effective Project Management.  PROJECT MANAGEMENTWhile PRINCE2 is one way of managing Projects, it is worthwhile defining what exactly a project is and why it needs management in the first place! 


A project is specific task/role that needs to be completed to meet certain objectives. In a managed project, you would have a defined beginning and end and certain "check points" throughout the process itself to ensure that you were on target to meet your overall objectives.

These checkpoints are referred to as "gates" and at each gate, you would have certain deliverable and targets to check your progress against. By managing a project in this fashion, you are able to ensure that you stay on track and that any issues or concerns are identified and dealt with at an early stage of the process versus waiting till the end.

The defined "end" to a project is necessary as it creates …

THE 4 P'S OF SERVICE STRATEGY

Competition is extremely fierce in the world of business, only a handful survive, and some can barely keep up with the demands of the times. That's why it is necessary to have an idea of what it takes to be successful and an integrated strategy to help maintain excellent service results.

ITIL discusses at length the four “Ps” of strategy- perspective, position, plan and pattern, each of which represents a different way to approach your service strategy. Brief summaries are provided here: Perspective - This is basically the vision statement of an organization.  Why is it in business, why is it doing what it is doing?  What are the plans and ideas for the future and how does the organization interact with its customers?  A perspective cements a service provider’s distinctiveness in the minds of the employees and customersPositions - What is the competitive landscape and how will the organization compete with other similar providers?  What is the key distinction between them and oth…

8 RULES OF GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE & 8 STEPS TO DEFINE A SERVICE

In a similar fashion to interviewing and hiring people - the hardest and most expensive exercise is getting the right employee - getting people back into the door is exactly the same.  You want that repeat custom as that is what will save you money in your marketing and advertising.  One of the key components to this in addition to the quality of the product itself is the customer service that you provide to the customer in their purchasing and ordering decisions.  You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won't be profitable for long. Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy - happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers. 
Good customer service should be thought of as re…