I arranged to attend a conference in Los Angeles, California. As an honorary flyer, I get rewards coupons that offer 50% off normal hotel rates. I contacted the call center of a large hotel chain to make my reservation.
The booking staff was friendly and very helpful. She took my name and contact number. She confirmed the dates, my room preference and my credit card number. He asked me if I was a member of the Premium Club, which I was not. So she signs me up for club status over the phone, doing a lot to improve customer satisfaction.
Then she noted, "Mr Kaufman, now that you are a member of the Premium Club, I can offer you an even lower price for a refurbished upstairs room. And a fruit basket will be waiting for you upon arrival."
I was surprised and delighted with the move to improve customer satisfaction. My special room rate was only $ 100 per night.
Unsubscribing from this great phone experience, I said, "Thank you for your help. I look forward to staying at the hotel during the conference."
"The Conference," she quickly replied, "Which conference are you attending?"
When I told her about the event, she said, "A. If you attend this conference, you must use our conference rate of $ 124."
I laughed and assured her that I was pleased with the special rate and status of the club, which she had already confirmed.
"Oh no," she repeated. "If you are coming for the conference, you have to use the special rate. We have a block of rooms already reserved for you downstairs. And I'm afraid you won't pick up the fruit basket."
Downstairs, higher percentage and no fruit basket? I protested. But my protest was in vain. She consulted with her manager, who agreed. "I'm sorry, but that's our policy," she said without much concern or desire to improve customer satisfaction.
I conveyed her insistence, listened sadly as she canceled my booking at the Premium Club, but refused to book her back at the hotel with the higher conference fee. I hung up the phone in disbelief at the lack of desire to improve customer satisfaction.
Then I called right away and got to a different reservation officer and made another reservation, again using my frequent flyer ticket and my new Premium Club membership number. This time I closed my mouth to attend any conference.
I was paying $ 100 a night when I went to Los Angeles. I enjoyed the tower room and the free fruit basket on arrival. No, however, thanks to this hotel's absurd policy and customer-friendly procedures that do nothing to improve customer satisfaction.
Somewhere deep down in the marketing department of this hotel chain, mining experts carefully calculate the maximum speed that can be pulled from the participants of any international conference.
Meanwhile, conference attendees are also thinkers … real, live clients! Yield Managers, Are You Listening To Improve Customer Satisfaction?
Basic learning points
When your policies intersect, collide, or conflict, your customers will understand. Clear Confusion to Improve Customer Satisfaction!
Review the many ways your customers can confirm, order, book, engage, hire, rent, or buy your products and services. Look for discrepancies and discrepancies in policies and procedures that impede efforts to improve customer satisfaction. Keep them in line so that your company and your customers stay in line. Do this and you can improve customer satisfaction.