Movenpick Cairo – Great Customer Service Response

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Last Saturday, I checked into the Movenpick in Cairo’s Media City. I wrote about it in this blog, and the very unfortunate first impressions I had. The blog was automatically picked up by my Twitter & LinkedIn feeds.

Clearly, Movenpick was watching, because the hotel management has made it very clear that they would like to change my first impression. This evening, as I was having dinner, I was approached by the Assistant Front Office Manager and the F&B Manager. They had heard of my experience, the told me, and apologized profusely. They wouldn’t just accept my thanking them for their concern (I was genuinely humbled by their response) – they wouldn’t leave until they were completely sure I was satisfied with the hotel and my stay.

The day before they had sent a basket of fruit to the room, and had offered to upgrade me to a suite. It was a very nice gesture. I declined the upgrade. They had made it clear that my comfort was important to them, and that made the difference to me.

Customer service in the hotel business is tough. There are so many moving parts, from front desk to housekeeping to concierge, food & beverage, and so on. Each one of those parts can significantly impact a customer’s experience, and it is inevitable that breakdowns will occur – even in the very best hotels. This means that service recovery is even more important in this highly competitive market.

And service recovery in the hotel business is tricky. What do you do when you have a dissatisfied guest? How far do you go? The range of options can run the gamut from a simple apology to a comped room and beyond. Each customer is different, and has different expectations. While I’m typically happy with a “We’re really sorry, thanks for letting us know about this) response on those rare occasions when I have a substandard experience, there are some who feel very entitled indeed. In this case, the people at the Movenpick handled it perfectly. Enough to convey the message that they care about me as a guest, without doing too much damage to the profitability of my stay (although in hindsight, maybe I should have asked for champagne and dancing girls…..)

A really nice job all around. For this alone, I would recommend them to people on their way to Cairo.

One last side-note: When the two managers asked if there was anything they could do, I did say, “yes, maybe you could have someone take away the can of Raid Insecticide from its prominent place on the dresser.” When I got back to the room, not only was the can still there, but a shiny brand new one was standing beside it! I had to laugh. I guess I need to work on my communications skills!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The real take is did they learn or just make you happy. It’s great they were watching/monitoring their reputation but the real question is did they learn from the experience. It would be nice to do a follow up visit soon to see if things have truly changed.

    Gary
    CEO & Founder
    http://www.iHotelMarketing.com

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. The managers did throw themselves 100% in addressing the issue, and they at no time tried to make excuses, so for that, I give them full marks. I also quickly discovered that everyone in the hotel knew my name, and what had happened – so they obviously felt it was important enough to discuss at a staff meeting.

    Having said that, I’m not convinced that anything will have changed to prevent situations like this again. Who knows? I am back in May/June, and I will let you know!

  3. Dear Shaun,

    From 2007 to 2009 I was a GM of 5 stars resorts on the Red Sea (Hurghada) and I can assure I loved the heart of the Egyptians. They have the hospitality in the blood and they will do what ever it takes to satisfy their guests. It is dishonourable for an Egyptian to have an unsatisfied guest in their house. You go to an Egyptian house that is the thinking. The thing is that all of those people they have a basic training on customer service but most of their reactions in service recovery are coming from their culture and not from a technique. I guess it makes is genuine but I wouldn’t expect any big learning out of your experience.

    Just my 2 cents!

    Alain Richard

  4. Great observation Alain. If what you say is true (and I have no doubt it is), wouldn’t it be nice if other countries had the same service culture!

  5. Shaun,

    Indeed it would! I have experienced being a guest in the private and humble house of an Egyptian Bedouin in the desert and things are just like that.

    Our western culture of over consumerism and our “e-pace” of life has taken us away that essential humanism but as you said it would be great that such culture would be applied all over.

    Thanks for the topic.

    Alain

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