OK, as a bonus for enduring my previous rant, I promised you a good customer service story. Gotta give credit where it’s due.
Here’s the background ... With 2016 representing Lessiter Media’s 35th anniversary, our “party planning committee” was working in earnest since February for a celebration planned for August. During their regular huddles, an idea arose to treat all employees and their spouses for a night on the town — a dinner cruise along the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan — including an overnight stay in downtown Milwaukee. The decision was made easier after the committee learned that the Hyatt Regency (a chain we’ve taken our Conference and Summit business to numerous times over the years) would let us apply years of accumulated points for the guest rooms at no additional out-of-pocket costs. Our committee verified this in several emails prior to signing the contract last winter, but as we later discovered in July, specific language to amend the agreement for the use of points somehow didn’t make it into the doc we signed.
So it was in the weeks leading up to the big day that the committee learned our sales contact who made the commitment to us was no longer employed by the hotel chain (gone for several months by then). In short, there was some kind of misunderstanding and they could not confirm the promise made. And finally, just days before the party date, approval was beyond the local staff’s authority anyway and that we would have had to take it up with the corporate office. You know, code for “You’re out of luck.”
Getting this word just days before all of our staff checked in was not fun news to receive, though we didn’t let anyone know nor let it dampen our celebration. Yet my dad, Frank, still took the time to pen an email the day before we checked in to state our case (calmly and professionally, I should add). He received a note a day later (just as our people were checking in) that they’d “look into it.” Hopes were dim.
Now someone at Hyatt may eventually have realized that our event business generated 3,829 hotel room nights last year alone (and a total of 28,872 over the last 10 years). Nevertheless, someone decided to swallow his or her pride (and the immediate revenue) to do the right thing. About a week later, with no additional contact from us, they notified us that they removed all charges to our account.
Like the anniversary party itself, their decision to “step up” spurred a clinking of the glass, and left a positive memory of Hyatt after an once-in-a-lifetime night. And while I’ll let Google Analytics and Facebook determine how many people I “told” about good customer service, I’m confident that it’ll be seen by more than just a few. And I hope so.
What’s your customer service story of “catching someone doing things right?” Leave in the comments field below.
This blog was originally posted on Oct. 17, 2016.