|Waiter - B1 by Hartwig HKD|
We began the trip after an early start and arrived after 10hour flight (+5 hour time difference to add to the tiredness!) to find the room "not available" (later find due to problem rather than late checkout of previous guest). A meal was offered at this point on the hotel, but frankly with a body clock all over the place and constant grazing on an long haul flight really not needed.
The first problem that Betsy really had to use her customer service skills with was a pre-ordered room service breakfast that went to the wrong room. Slightly frustrating as waited for a breakfast to arrive rather than visit the restaurant, but no financial loss so no drama.
A quick call down from Betsy and the candlelit supper was soon in full swing. Unfortunately candlelit has the side affect of being low level lighting and I was soon wearing steak sauce mixed with blood. Initially I got the response of laundry is closed but once the restaurant manager saw that I looked like the victim of a holloween horror slash attack, I was promised freshly laundered clothes in the hour.
Luckily for them at this point I was laughing, the staff were all really friendly and trying to make the stay special. Unfortunately for them something just wasn't working making the hotel seem incompetent.
The consultant in me would love to see their internal processes to see what could be improved - they had computer systems good enough to track we had stayed before and get attention on the return visit, they also had wireless phones for keeping in contact around the hotel. Maybe it was training? communication between departments? Reporting lines?
The product person in me wonders about the computer system and phones, as tools what was lacking in helping them perform their jobs? Did they use the same systems? How could a new tool do the job better or fill a niche not currently served?
I think the lesson I'll take from this is, a fairly obvious one, in that producing a tool for people in a service industry you are taking a certain amount of responsibility in making the end customer's life easier. So you need to look beyond what might be the requirement at hand, for example "move bookings from one queue to another", and see how that makes travellers lives easier, less stressful and ultimately happier. It might create a good customer experience if you do, it may also help the brand live its values.