In the midst of all this hubbub about what happened to my daughter on Continental Airlines yesterday, I thought I’d post briefly about a large company which clearly does understand how to provide good customer service when recovering from a mistake.
Last night I checked into the hotel at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. I’m attending two days of training here for my company — half of the attendees work in Boston and the other half work in New York City, so they decided to split the difference.
When I checked in, the desk clerk informed me that there were no non-smoking rooms available, despite the fact that I’d requested one.
Before I had even had time to get upset about it, the clerk apologized profusely and continued, “We can send an air purifier up to the room if you’d like, and if you stop by the front desk tomorrow, we can block off a non-smoking room for you and move you into it as soon as it’s available.”
“Wow, an air purifier!” I said to myself. “I’ve never heard of a hotel offering that before! Mohegan Sun must really know what they’re doing.”
When I got up to the room, I suppose it smelled faintly of cigarette smoke, but it certainly wasn’t awful. Shortly afterwards, a hotel employee brought up the air purifier and plugged it in, and it’s been humming away all night long, presumably purifying the air.
Here’s the thing: I honestly can’t tell whether the air purifier is doing anything, but it doesn’t matter. By showing that they cared and wanted to do everything they could to fix the problem, Mohegan Sun put me in the right mindset to be willing to accept the situation as it was. Customer service is as much about making the customer believe that you care as it is about solving the customer’s problems.
Of course, it helps that the room is very well-appointed and clean, they offer high-speed internet for free, and when I got to the room the temperature was abolutely perfect.
I’m not a big fan of casinos. I think they prey on people who can ill afford to be preyed on, and although I recognize the economic benefit they bring to the surrounding area in terms of jobs and taxes, I think the cost to society exceeds the benefit. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that casinos like Mohegan Sun succeed by making customers happy. They know it, and they’re very good at it. Companies like Continental could learn a lot from them about how to treat customers.
I once stayed at a Hampton Inn where their TV (CRT style) fried while I was in the room, emitting a truly horrible odor. They replaced the TV and brought in an air freshening system immediately. So I know exactly what you mean.