Exceptional Customer Experience by Sheraton

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While there ars a number of tips, best practices, how-to’s out there about giving good customer service in the hotel industry (see Hotel Customer Service), it’s actually not that easy to find hotels that actually use these recommendations. Hence, it’s always a good surprise to get a story from one of our readers about their great experience as a hotel guest.

A little bit of context first: running is a favorite healthy sport for people of all ages. Many of those who run for leisure and health purposes find themselves running the races that are peppered throughout the world. Autumn is a particularly good time for road races. The cooler temperatures and beautiful scenery draw thousands to show their stamina and skill. But why am I talking about running? Read on to find the missing link between running and customer service.

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts has an excellent reputation for their fine amenities and customer service. Last weekend was the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon in Kansas City, Missouri. Over 10,000 participants converged upon the city streets. The Sheraton of Crown Center was one of two official hotel sponsors of the race. The Sheraton of Crown Center hosted hundreds of these runners for the weekend as well as the related expo.

“As someone who has run many races, I have become accustomed to the habits of hotel personnel. At best, they act annoyed with the large crowds of loud runners who fill up their lobbies during the early morning hours. At worst, we runners have been greeted with outright hostility. This was far from the case at the Sheraton in Crown Center.

When I arrived at the Sheraton, I immediately went to the check-in desk. I asked a number of questions, as I always do, about early morning wake-up calls, the best route to the race’s start line, and any information that may be available about the expo. These hotels usually have a print-off that is handed over without a word. In this case, the agent answered each question quickly, accurately, and with a smile. He also suggested places to eat that evening. When he noted that my family was traveling with me, he mentioned some nearby entertainment venues to occupy my husband and children during the race.

The service I was greeted with upon check-in was not a fluke. The following morning, runners filled the lobby. A concierge was onsite with free bottles of water and safety pins for runners who, like me, didn’t have them for our race bibs. They also allowed those who would be late returning to the hotel after a long race to use their showers free of charge. This is a service I have never experienced in all of my years of running.

I am not the only one who was greeted with excellent customer service. The Sheraton in Crown Center’s Facebook page has a number of compliments from excited guests, such as this one:

Sheraton Facebook Page Comment

In the end, the Sheraton in Crown Center was more expensive than other hotels I might have chosen, but I was glad that I went with my gut rather than my wallet. My family and I discussed our experience and we are all in agreement: whenever a Starwood property is available, that is were we will be staying.”

It’s also fun to see how Sheraton use their Facebook page. As you can see they showcase different aspects of the facilities and they also make their staff participate and praise them (i.e.: Employee of the month – Randy). From what their customers say I guess we can basically say that they provide great customer service. On the other hand, especially within the hospitality world, we’ve got to be careful not to fall over and give too much customer service, this would alienate first-time guests.

Do you have any good or bad customer stories about hotels, resorts, etc …? Please do share them in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Arnaud Dumas De Rauly
You mix Marketing, Customer Relations & Project Mgmt, Pre-Sales, Web/UI Design and serve it all on a Rugby field along with Customer Services and Customer Experience - Follow me on Twitter / Facebook

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