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Customer Service

My husband, son and I recently went to North Carolina for a wedding where my family had reserved two rooms to stay in a local hotel for the wedding event.  We had out of town guests that arrived from London and were not able to keep our room reservation and had to cancel them.  I called the hotel and the reservation manager I spoke with was Melissa.  I explained our situation and she mentioned that it was after the 24 hour cancellation time frame but that she would as a courtesy cancel the two room reservations that we had previously made.
I got off the phone, delighted (and relieved) that we could spend more time with our friends and very grateful for “Melissa” and the customer service she provided.  She cared more about us and our situation than the hotel business at the moment.  I will be sending her a thank you note – but really wanted to send her flowers for brightening my day.  My friend mentioned that it was, “her job” to do that.  In some regard that is a true statement but it made me think about the many times I have been on the phone make a purchase, to return a product, to get information on a product or service where the person on the other end of the phone gives the impression that they are doing me a favor just to give me the time of day or were stuck on “policy” and not willing to listen to the problem.
Customer service.  What does it mean to you?  My mother always encouraged me with words from the Bible - "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You" and I saw her live her life that way as a child so I have always had a good example to follow.  For me, giving customer service is just that – How can I serve YOU?  I want to listen to what people are saying and try to do what they are requesting, solve any issues, and ease their mind.  I want them to feel better after they have talked with me.  I want them to know that I value them and want a business relationship that lasts.  People can go many places to get what they need, but I want them to come to me and be glad that they did.  I want people to refer others to me because of the amazing customer service they receive.
Even though we did not stay at this hotel and they did not get our business that weekend, we will definitely look forward to staying with them in the future.  Melissa invested in us as people and not just a customer.  She cared more about us than the one time room booking.  In that one decision she made a customer for life.  People do not have to do that, but if you want to succeed in business this attitude of service will make customers dedicated to you because you are dedicated to them.
Thank you Melissa – Townplace Suites – Morresville, North Carolina