My 12 year old son Sam had come with me to Chicago. The concept was that he wanted to hang out in the hotel room Friday and Saturday, sleep late, watch TV, play PS2, order room service, and generally just chill until dinner time. When we were finalizing our plans, he thought the room description of the flat screen TV and stereo CD sounded like it would work with his plans. On Sunday we had planned to check out and spend the day at the musems.
Well, the TV and the stereo CD did not exactly live up to their description. Bigger problem was that the TV did not work consistently. We had the maintenance guy in our room at least 6 times in 2 days. He was very helpful and pleasant but the equipment was just not working.
On Sunday, we checked our bags in the morning. When we returned to retrieve them in the afternoon there was a long line of people at the bell stand but no bellman. The people at the front desk essentially ignored the increasing line and when I asked them to locate the bellman, they reluctantly called him. When asked to help get the bags, they said they didn’t have a key. When finally, the bellman appeared, no one from the front desk lifted a finger to help speed along the process. I was astounded at their indifference. I definitely had those never staying here again thoughts.
A few days after I filled out the survey I got an email from the hotel manager apologizing for the problems and accepting responsibility; also he offered me $50 off my bill. It was an unexpected gesture. Having filled out many of these kinds of surveys, I have never once been contacted to follow up by anyone. I have had worse stays at hotels, complained on the spot and been argued with or been reluctantly apologized to. When taking my son to camp in Chattanooga, the Marriot we stayed in had a myriad of problems; the next morning the hotel manager offered a very generous compensation amount…but off our next visit. Two weeks later when we went to pick him up, we chose another hotel.
The $50 off THIS bill at the Allegro spoke volumes. There was a problem with THIS stay; we will compensate you for this stay and you don’t have to spend anymore with us to be compensated. Those never staying here again thoughts melted away
A "no excuses" apology and compensation for the inconvenience right then are 2 important ingredients for turning a situation of bad service around. And if you are going to send a survey….follow up if it is negative. I would stay at the Allegro again. I also have another suggestion for hotels….if a guest is staying multiple nights…find out how it is going before they leave and there is still time to repair the damage. Also, if there is a complaint, such as the TV…follow up afterwards to see if the problem was resolved. It tells your customers that you care and want this experience to be pleasant.
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