Well, we like to think we do. We genuinely love talking to our guests (when they want to talk to us; when they don't, we like being able to respect that too) and we know that there's no greater gift we can give than time - and attention. And we try to anticipate every need and find a way to meet it. So we understand what it is to GIVE great customer service, we think. Comments we receive from our guests tell us we're on the right lines, anyway.
But we're also customers too. And frankly, our suppliers and other businesses we deal with don't blow us away with great customer service very often. For example, when things go wrong, as they regularly do, I'm attuned to the opportunity for them to offer an apology - which rarely comes. It's as if they consider these regular cockups an acceptable part of our contract, and something I should be prepared to accept without a second thought.
We've had a series of 'events' with our laundry service over the summer, some of which have placed us in difficult situations. The person we spoke to at the laundry each week must have considered this perfectly acceptable, because no apology was ever offered. Then, we had a call one day to say the owner of the Company wanted to come and see us.
As we began to chat, we told him about our experiences of his business these past months, and didn't pull any punches. He said he knew that the wheels had fallen off his business in some respects this summer; high staff turnover, badly trained staff, too many temporary staff, new machinery no-one understood - and a few other disasters. But here's the thing: he apologised outright, said he knew it wasn't the service we expected or deserved, and said he hoped we'd stick with him and give him another chance.
And you know what? We absolutely will. It's not complicated really, is it?