Last week was spent celebrating my birthday in two places. I have always enjoyed going to The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat even as a full paying customer. With the hospitality industry being the hardest hit, you would think service would be better and that people are not going to certain places for price alone. Friendliness should be a given but these were some qualities that got me thinking about my next trip back.
- Being welcomed – Upon arrival, I received a bouquet of flowers. It doesn’t cost much but it sure warms the cockles of the heart when you step in. Staff that have been there remembered me from my previous trips and came out to say hello. Now that’s the first wow.
- Feeling at home – The moment we got into our room, there was a fruit basket which is not uncommon but a nice touch. Not too long after, a knock on the door and chocolates with my face on it welcoming me back. How can you not help be a raving fan?
- Attention to detail – The first night after dinner, we were further surprised by another treat. I have not informed them of my birthday and it was still a few days ahead but when I got back, there was a birthday cake waiting for me. Obviously they had gotten details from my ID and worked out the necessary. Now I have stayed at my share of luxury hotels and usually upon instruction, most are accommodating but this was initiative at its finest.
Why am I writing this? This was in contrast to the other place I visited a few days later. It wasn’t exactly a huge place and the price was only slightly cheaper. I understand the concept of value-for-money but I didn’t feel I got my money’s worth. There was a less than a welcoming bunch of people working there. They were helpful when asked but they were seriously understaffed and not properly trained.
The place was run down. It wasn’t clean. It had a tiny bathroom which was shared with five women (no one told us there was only one bathroom). The gardens are not landscaped well with dying plants everywhere. It was a tired place. There was a dining area which had no sink which meant going to the bathroom to wash cutlery. No point in getting the staff because there was no one to be seen most times. We had to clear our own dishes and these didn’t get cleared until the next day. I won’t name or complain about this place publicly but I definitely won’t be returning.
When customer service is a differentiating factor and people are “forced” to travel locally, make sure your software matches your hardware. It’s what makes people return, rave about it and come back for more.