Does Good Customer Service Come Naturally?
Over the Memorial Day weekend my wife and I took a short ride to Ogden Valley to stay in a little bed and breakfast called the Atomic Chalet. The goal was a quiet night away from home and to find someplace we’d never been before. Nestled near Pineview Reservoir in Huntsville, UT, the Chalet is on a quiet little street in the middle of town. Our room felt like we were in a secluded cabin up in the woods, and small business owners everywhere could learn a thing from Wes, the inkeeper.
Although I found this charming bed and breakfast on tripadvisor.ca, I called to make arrangements for our stay. Wes made my reservation and even took the time to ask our names. When we arrived on Sunday night, I found out why. He addressed us both by name as we chatted while I took the luggage off the bike. As we removed our motorcycle boots in the foyer, Wes grabbed our bags and escorted us up to our room.
Originally from San Clemente, California, Wes started visiting the Ogden Valley to ski with his family. It’s a beautiful mountain valley and no wonder he fell in love with the place and decided to build his bed and breakfast in Hunstville. He’s been here since 2000 and has the innkeeper role down. His easygoing and friendly demeanor endeared us to him right from the start.
I can’t remember the last time I did anything my wife described as “perfect,” but she loved the experience and the accommodations. In fact, we’ve invited some friends and are going to spend another weekend at the Atomic Chalet in July.
I think what I liked best about the place was the relaxed and friendly attitude. If places have a “vibe” (which I believe they do), this place has a good one. I can’t put my finger on anything in particular Wes did to make our stay delightful, but here are just a few of the things I noticed that might inspire how you deal with your customers:
- He obviously knew what he was doing: I don’t know the first thing about running a bed and breakfast, but there was no question that Wes knew his stuff. The property was well landscaped and obviously very well cared for, from the minute you entered the inn it was immaculately clean. He was prepared for us, he was expecting us, and he treated us like guests. I spend a fair amount of time in hotels, and even the most exclusive place I’ve ever been in can’t hold a candle to Wes. Whatever your product or service is, know your stuff.
- He was always smiling: It didn’t matter what he was doing or what time of the day it was (I’m an early riser and was already up and in the common area when he got up the next morning), he had a smile on his face and seemed genuinely glad to see me. I’m sure there are times when he just doesn’t want to get up and face another group of guests—sometimes I feel that way (and I don’t have to do it seven days a week). Does your customer service team always have a smile on their face and treat every call as if they’re actually glad to speak with them?
- He wasn’t showy: He never made a big deal about how helpful and accommodating he was, he just was. I don’t know if it’s in his DNA or if he’s just learned it over the years, but it just seemed to be so natural you can’t help but like him. Do you spend more time talking about customer service that you spend helping customers? Wes is a perfect example of someone who just does it.
Of course not every Main Street business is a bed and breakfast, but some of the customer service practices Wes uses to keep his customers happy apply to any business. What do you do to make good customer service come naturally?