We went away for the weekend a couple of weeks ago, just a two day trip to the ocean with my parents. We had a great time. We did the tourist thing in Georgetown, SC. Good company, good food and good sites. We did, however, have an experience that got me thinking.
We were only in Georgetown for one night and stayed at a Hampton Inn there. Very nice facility, always a good breakfast at the Hampton Inns and a reasonable price for being close to the ocean. We had a little problem, though. We stayed at the Inn on Friday night and were to check out by 11:00AM. My father and myself were going to play golf early on Saturday and wanted to be able to come back to the Inn and freshen up (maybe catch an early football game) after we played. We requested a “late check out”. The young lady at the desk was quite definite that that would not be possible, but I could check with the manager. I spoke with the manager and received the same response, “any late stay would require the payment for an additional day”. Not very flexible. I received an email from the Hampton Inn people a couple of days later and they requested some feedback on my stay. I shared with them that I was disappointed with the staff’s service level.
I share this with you why? One of the main reasons that I tell organizations issues I have with them is to see how they react. Hampton Inn has a “100% Hampton Guarantee” . Not satisfied, don’t pay. I thought that I quite clearly let them know that I was not satisified and I have yet to hear from them. I believe that their “100% Hampton Gaurantee” still needs some work.
Hampton Inn is not selling me a room for the night, they are selling me the complete lodging experience, the room is just part of it. They are a service organization.
When I was young, my mother had a package of peanuts that she bought that were stale, terribly. She wrote the company and let them know. She received a letter with an appoligy and some new peanuts. WHAT? That was awesome. In most companies, that would make no sense at all. Spend $40 or $50 over a complaint on a $1 bag of peanuts? Are you crazy? Unless you have a committment to serving your customer. They knew that they were a service organization.
Tom Peters’ books are great reading for some of the incredible stories he tells of customer service. Companies that understand that they may make and sell products but they are a service company.
As I mentioned when I started this, my experience at Hampton Inn started me thinking. What is all this talk about the US developing in to a “service economy”? I sure hope so. I hope every company, organization and association realizes that they are in the service business.
Well, we certainly try to make McDonald Containers act and look like a service business. I hope you would agree with that statement. If not, let me know, send me some feedback, tell me where we can do better, our goal is to be part of the service economy. Oh, and by the way, we may try to sell a couple of cremation trays or shipping trays too while we’re serving you. Hey, stop by and visit us at www.mcdonaldcontainers.com.