On a recent business trip to Chicago I had the experience of encountering two very different managers – both responsible for front desk operations, at different properties, within the same hotel company. It amazed me how opposite their responses were given that they probably went through similar training programs.
The first manager could not have been more indifferent to my needs and concerns. He made no effort to find a way to accommodate me, even when my dissatisfaction led me to check out of the hotel. He never once offered an apology even if it was for a failure of the hotel’s reservation process. More so, he seemed to take it personally when I voiced concerns, saying that HE was not responsible and he would not apologize for another hotel associate not attending to the specific reservation details.
The next experience was the exact opposite. Taking a phone call from me, late on a Saturday evening, this front desk manager could not have been more helpful, gracious and hospitable. She sprang into action, doing everything she could to look for an available room. After explaining what happened at a “sister” hotel, she even asked if she could call me right back after looking for an upgraded accommodation. She could not have been nicer.
This real world example shows how important it is to hire the right people, especially in the hotel and restaurant business. It also shows that, while brand standards matter, at the end of the day it all comes down to the attitude of the individual.
The lesson: train, train, train, but spend even more time being sure you hire the right folks with the right attitude so they can make your brand a success, one guest at a time.