Four Seasons Hotels: the Superior Service Super Stars

I consider myself a well-seasoned traveler. Throughout the last 15 years, I have experienced the full gamut of hotel customer service. And quite frankly, not all hotels live up to the great standards they claim. Because of so many disappointments and let downs while travelling, I now have extremely low expectations of service when it comes to most hotels.

But something magical happened recently that brightened my outlook on hotels and rekindled my expectations that great customer service is possible. The magic happened at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas

For more than five decades, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have redefined the meaning of luxury and comfort. How do they do it? It’s quite simple. They do it through exceptional service. The company calls part of its service culture How We Behave: “We demonstrate our beliefs most meaningfully in the way we treat each other and by the example we set for one another. In all our interactions with our guests, customers, business associates and colleagues, we seek to deal with others as we would have them deal with us.”

Real World Example: So, it shouldn’t have been such a big surprise to me when I called the hotel’s front desk, and the lady who answered EXPLAINED, “I’m currently assisting another guest. May I put you on hold?” The next morning at breakfast, I was seated at a table that had white cloth napkins. The host took the napkins off the table and said, “I’ll be right back with darker napkins.” When I asked why, he EXPLAINED, “So you don’t get lint on your black slacks.” Wow! How impressive is that? Talk about going above and beyond customers’ expectations.

The most outstanding aspect about my Four Seasons experience was the consistency in the staff’s behavior — every employee in every encounter. Now, that’s rare.

Strategies that Turn it Around: Following are some tips for improving your customer service (taken directly from my experiences with Four Seasons). Most of the tips are fundamental and basic, so the beauty of them lies in their simplicity. Unfortunately, most of these key points are missing within many organizations today:

  1. Greet immediately: As soon as I arrived, a bell-hop took my bag, gave me a big smile, and helped me into the lobby.
  2. Acknowledge immediately:  I stood in line for only a few seconds before a woman at the front desk gave me a smile and said, “I’ll be right with you.”
  3. Use the customer’s name:  When I got to the front desk, the woman got my name, used it immediately, and continued using it throughout our transaction. Also, the Housekeeping staff would knock on my door, using my name.
  4. Over deliver:  When I asked if I could have an apple from the bowl on the counter, instead of pointing me toward the bowl, I’d get a “Sure” and the entire bowl brought over to me.
  5. Listen:  All the staff was extremely patient with my questions about the gym, a market, directions to the convention center, and breakfast places.
  6. Go above and beyond:  Instead of pointing me toward the elevator, staff came out from behind their counters and walked with me and around a corner to make sure I knew where I was going.
  7. Be proactive:  While dining outside in the restaurant’s patio, the sun started to get in my eyes. Before I could say anything, staff brought out an umbrella.

Remember: Customer service is not a one-time occurrence. Exceptional customer service must happen consistently and with each customer, every single time. Doing so will make you a superior service super star, helping you to create happy and loyal clients.

When was the last time YOU experienced superior customer service? Please share in the comments section below.

5 Responses to “Four Seasons Hotels: the Superior Service Super Stars”

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