Small Business

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Outstanding customer service leaves a lasting impression

Problem Solver with Fergal Quinn

Published 03/07/2014|00:00

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Fergal Quinn
Fergal Quinn

Q What is the best service you have ever personally received?

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Fergal replies: Now, because of the business that I worked in, that is a really interesting question!

I spent my whole career analysing the service I received from others. There have been some fantastic examples both in Ireland and abroad where people have gone beyond the call of duty to provide really great service.

One of the most outstanding events I can recall was arriving in a hotel in America having just flown in from Dublin. My taxi pulled up outside the hotel, the concierge opened the taxi door and to my astonishment, said "Mr Quinn, you are very welcome. How was your flight from Dublin?" Slightly confused I replied and continued into the reception area at which point the receptionist asked did I need a hand booking my round of golf for the next day.

Again, looking rather puzzled, I gave her the relevant information and was completely blown away by the level of attention they were paying. What I couldn't figure out, was how they knew so much about me, so I decided to stand back and watch.

The next day, as a taxi pulled up outside the hotel, I noticed the driver first released the boot and the concierge took a quick look at the flight tags on the suitcases in the boot before he opened the door. On having a brief conversation with the guest, he then spoke into a small radio on his lapel to alert the receptionist about the approaching guest with a small resume of their holiday plans.

What I learned there was that places that are serious about looking after their customers go to great lengths to ensure they make a person's stay as pleasant as possible.

One can argue that service levels like that are slightly artificial. However, I have never seen anyone go to such trouble to find out how they can help their guests as much as I did at that hotel. Find areas where you can really help your customer and relentlessly follow that goal.

Email your questions to problemsolver@independent.ie

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