Last Saturday, I checked into the Movenpick in Cairo’s Media City. I wrote about it in this blog, and the very unfortunate first impressions I had. The blog was automatically picked up by my Twitter & LinkedIn feeds.
Clearly, Movenpick was watching, because the hotel management has made it very clear that they would like to change my first impression. This evening, as I was having dinner, I was approached by the Assistant FrontOffice Manager and the F&B Manager. They had heard of my experience, the told me, and apologized profusely. They wouldn’t just accept my thanking them for their concern (I was genuinely humbled by their response)- they wouldn’t leave until they were completely sure I was satisfied with the hotel and my stay.
The day before they had sent a basket of fruit to the room, and had offered to upgrade me to a suite. It was a very nice gesture. I declined the upgrade. They had made it clear that my comfort was important to them, and that made the difference to me.
Customer service in the hotel business is tough. There are so many moving parts, from front desk to housekeeping to concierge, food & beverage, and so on. Each one of those parts can significantly impact a customer’s experience, and it is inevitable that breakdowns will occur – even in the very best hotels. This means that service recovery is even more important in this highly competitive market.
And service recovery in the hotel business is tricky. What do you do when you have a dissatisfied guest? How far do you go? The range of options can run the gamut from a simple apology to a comped room and beyond. Each customer is different, and has different expectations. While I’m typically happy with a “We’re really sorry, thanks for letting us know about this) response on those rare occasions when I have a substandard experience, there are some who feel very entitled indeed. In this case, the people at the Movenpick handled it perfectly. Enough to convey the message that they care about me as a guest, without doing too much damage to the profitability of my stay (although in hindsight, maybe I should have asked for champagne and dancing girls…..)
A really nice job all around. For this alone, I would recommend them to people on their way to Cairo.
One last side-note: When the two managers asked if there was anything they could do, I did say, “yes, maybe you could have someone take away the can of Raid Insecticide from its prominent place on the dresser.” When I got back to the room, not only was the can still there, but a shiny brand new one was standing beside it! I had to laugh. I guess I need to work on my communications skills!