Most hotels take customer service very seriously. And it’s not hard to see why. Most cities have literally hundreds of hotels, and all offer the same basic service. So, personalised customer service is seen as a key differentiator to drive loyalty and attract repeat business – especially for high-end hotels.
At some hotel chains, it is standard practice to leave a handwritten note or gift for loyal customers whenever they stay. This is undoubtedly a nice touch. But another hotel practice, though well-intentioned, may actually be doing more harm than good.
At many hotels, the general manager will email guests with hotel status before and after their stays. These emails appear helpful, but AFF member swanning_it believes most are nothing more than a waste of time.
This member recently received an email from the general manager of a Hilton property ahead of their stay. In the email, the manager invites the guest to contact them personally if there is anything they can do to help. Except, when swanning_it actually tried to get in touch, this member was unable to reach the general manager at all. What’s more, they one thing they actually asked for was refused.
Recently, I had a stay booked at a hotel and like many chain hotels, I received an email (from the general manager) thanking me for my loyalty and offering assistance. The last line read, and I quote, “if there is anything you need at all during your visit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally“.
As this stay was for my daughters formal, I thought to myself, “you know what, there is. an earlier check in than 3pm will help with them getting ready“, so I rang the GM on the number provided and got a receptionist. I said I’d like to talk to the GM and the reply was “Oh that’s just a generic email and the GM doesn’t usually take the calls“. Fine, so why lie about it? As it turned out, I did request early check in, which was not granted (and yes I do realise that early check in is not guaranteed).
The whole experience has left swanning_it feeling that these generic emails are pointless, and such offers as “contact me personally” simply shallow. Many AFF members agree.
At other hotels, some AFF members have been able to contact the general manager directly, either before or after their stay. But our members feel that hotels should not spam their guests with pointless emails by making promises they have no intention of keeping.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Meaningless emails – help or hindrance