Thursday, May 19, 2011

An efficient big corporation, sometimes

Since I complain so much about big corporations, I should say something nice when a big corporation gives unexpectedly good service.

We are going to make a trip this summer, and I finally got around to making our hotel reservations.  I got online to our favorite hotel chain, but I couldn't make the reservation for the full stay.  I kept shortening the stay until the reservation was accepted.

I then tried to make a reservation at the tail end of our planned stay.  The site said there was no hotel in the my desired location!!!  The hotel was even in the list of my confirmations.

I called the chain's 800 number to report the problem.  I also told the representative that I would call the hotel directly to get on its wait-list.  He confirmed that that was my best plan.

When I called the hotel, I got better than being on the wait-list; I got the reservation for the full planned stay.  And I received email confirmation of the updated reservation within minutes.

I think the "secret" to this excellent customer service is that employees are given quite a bit of leeway to satisfy customers.  Too many organizations (government and private) impose a rigid set of rules on their employees.  One could say that "liberal" organizations fare better than "conservative" organizations.