HERO OR ZERO?

Who is the most important person in your business?
Photo by Gabriel Bassino on Unsplash
Who is the most important person in any business? If you think it’s you then you might want to think again.

We recently had a phone call from a small hotel that we had a one night booking with. We had booked the room through a well established third party website and contacted the hotel afterwards to book an evening meal. Table booked, room booked. All good.

The phone call however, was the owner of the hotel telling us that the third party website had made an error and the room was double booked and they knew nothing of our booking. These things happen.

When we questioned the communication we had had with them over the dinner reservation and how we get a refund things took a dive.

The owner then said, and I paraphrase ‘I’m not going to apologise to you, it’s not my fault. I’m a small business owner and I have too much to do. I can’t be expected to know everything that is going on, you will have to sort it out with the other company.’

Oops. Suddenly in the little story of our night away we were not only the problem but the villains too. Businesses should make the customer feel like the hero in the story of their interactions. Without customers you have no business.

How could they have responded in a better way?

How about… ‘We are so sorry but there has been a mix up with the booking and the room you wanted has been double booked. We have been in contact with a couple of other local hotels and they have some suitable rooms available which we have asked them to hold for you. If you would like we can give you their details so you can see what they are like or even make a reservation for you. If you would still like to keep your dinner reservation we would be delighted to have you and treat you to a complimentary drink but if you need to cancel we completely understand. We have contacted the third party website and have found out how to get your full refund. If there’s anything else we can do to help just let us know.’

Suddenly we no longer feel like an awkward situation to be dealt with, we feel like we are at the centre of the hoteliers plans for that moment. They might have been stressed out and over worked but blaming the customer for something that is not their fault is not a good look.

10 minutes later we had found a better place to stay with a bigger room and a nicer view. They even threw in breakfast. Every cloud…

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