Serve Customers to Win Business

27 02 2008

OK so that may seem like stating the obvious, but as I was recently trying to book a room for a meeting it would seem like many potential venues have missed this point.

Firstly the Web sites I had to trawl through were, by and large, way too confusing. In many cases contact details were hidden, charges and availability for rooms in the main were not given, meaning I had to make telephone enquiries.

Then started the pantomime of:

Finding telephone numbers on the Web sites

Listening to endless options

Calls not being answered

Answerphone messages asking me to leave my details

The person I needed to speak to not being available for two days

All of which were barriers to me simply finding out if a venue had a room available, on the day I needed, for the number of people in my party and the cost of said room.

Thankfully some of the venues I contacted were very helpful.

But for those whose Web sites were confusing and uninformative, and those whose telephone responses were inadequate they really would benefit from putting themselves in their customer’s shoes and try to use their own service to identify their weaknesses. After all this is the hospitality industry and nowhere is a lack of customer service more telling.

As someone who has arranged numerous events of varying sizes across the country you quickly learn to assess a business by the quality of it’s service from the moment you first make contact with it.

This starts with the Web site -business customers should be quickly directed to a part of the site dedicated to their requirements. If availability information is not available it is critically important to ensure that contact numbers are  clearly given, and that you can be confident that number will be answered.

When it comes to the phone being answered, do ensure the person who answers it can get the caller to the correct person as soon as possible, or even more ideally have a direct line to that person, but ensure provision is in place for it to be answered when they are not at their desk.

When an initial enquiry is handled quickly and professionally it immediately gives a good impression of the venue, which puts the venue in a far better position to win business.

So whilst you would hope that everything I’ve said is  commonsense, from my recent experience it isn’t, and for an industry that is all about serving people and their requirements this is very poor marketing.

Getting the basics right and doing them well will always be sound advice, and for the hospitality sector that has to be about ensuring you serve your customers. 

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One response

27 02 2008
Chris Tackett

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Chris Tackett

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