Image of a circular dial with a sad face, a straight face and an arrow pointing to a smiley face

One of our team just came back from an overnight trip full of praise for the hotel they stayed in and its management.

Not only was this because the hotel was great but also because of an email the manager had sent within minutes of them checking in, which explained the high standards they wanted to achieve and what guests should do if anything falls short of that. Read our blog for more about how we think this type of excellent customer care could be applied to our work.

Setting out expectations

It’s not often that an email from a business you deal with sticks in the mind, so what was it about this particular one which made our team member bring it to our attention?

Well it started out pretty normal – “We hope that this email finds you well and you are enjoying your stay with us”  – nothing to write a blog about there! But then it went on to talk about a survey that guests are often asked to complete after a stay and how it would ask for opinions on some key things like overall satisfaction, room cleanliness and breakfast, based on a scale of 1-10.

Crucially, the email set out the hotel’s expectations, pointing out that they consider anything 8 and above to be a good stay while anything 7 or below is a poor stay.

Next we come to the part that perhaps made this hotel really stand out from the crowd:

“If you feel that your stay was a 7 or below, we would love the opportunity to discuss with you further, prior to completing your survey, so we can try our very best to transform that score to an 8 or above.”

Pre-empting any issues

The message we think this hotel was trying to get across is this:

  1. We hold ourselves to really high standards and we’re happy to tell you about that upfront.
  2. If you experience any issues, don’t wait until after you’ve left the premises to complain or write about it in a survey.
  3. Tell us about the problem now so we can resolve it for you quickly.
  4. That way you’ll enjoy a better stay, we’ll live up to our promise and we’ll get a better review. Everybody’s happy!

How can we apply this to our work?

The overriding principle set out in this message is really simple – good customer care means never letting anything go as far as a complaint or a satisfaction score or 7 or below. This line of thinking can probably be applied to any business that has customers or clients to keep happy so, if you want to follow the example of the hotel, here are a few pointers:

  • Whether you’re dealing with clients by email, telephone or in person, imagine our company (and you as our representative) would have to be judged by a survey sent to that client at any point in the relationship. Then, think about what you can do to ensure you’re always given a score or eight or above.
  • When we begin a relationship with a client, let’s tell them upfront about the standards and levels of performance we strive to achieve (that could be in writing or in the conversations you have).
  • Anticipate the key areas of our work/ performance where issues could potentially arise and let clients know that these are all things we care about and want to go well. In our hotel scenario this was overall satisfaction, room cleanliness and breakfast but for construction it could be all kinds of different things – cost, communication, timescales, site orderliness, workmanship etc.
  • Tell clients not to leave things unsaid. Make sure they know that, if something isn’t meeting their expectations, we want to hear about it at the earliest opportunity so that we can fix it  and live up to our high standards.
  • Provide clear routes for making contact with us. The hotel ended their email with details of how to reach out to a team member by email or phone. Do the same.
  • If a client does raise an issue, be sure to follow through and quickly find a resolution that works for everyone.

The key take-way

We know that in a fast-paced industry like construction, sometimes going through a process like this might seem impractical but, if you take just one point away from this blog, make it this one:

Consider how what you do at work (and consequently our company’s reputation) could always be scored at least 8 out of 10. Let’s hold ourselves to high expectations and then exceed them!

Tell us what you think could be done to keep our company scoring high by commenting over on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.


Feature image: Freepik