Mike Sutton recently wrote a post launching ServiceChat, a new startup intending to disrupt the current state of customer service. Inspired by his request to talk more about great customer service, I thought I’d write about a recent experience I had.
A few weeks ago I visited some friends in Cambridge, and in typical style, I was booking the hotel the day before. Simon pointed me towards the Newmarket Road Travelodge as it is brand new, well located and quite cheap. In my haste to book the room I forgot to check the check-in date and made the booking for that night rather than the next.
Completely unaware of my mistake, I arrived at the hotel on the Friday night and they couldn’t find my booking. The friendly member of staff asked for my patience and went to do something in the back room. Whilst I was waiting, it dawned on me that I’d booked for the wrong night, I was fully expecting to have to pay for another night.
When the member of staff (I should have asked her name) returned from the back room, she informed me of my mistake and proceeded to book me a replacement for that evening, without any hassle. I was very pleasantly surprised, as it was my mistake, I didn’t expect them to do anything in order to resolve it, I was only hopeful that they had any room at all for that night.
I was made aware that this is not normal policy, so I was grateful for the calm way they managed the exception. I hope that instead of getting someone into trouble, that Travelodge can see the long term benefit this service has had on my relationship with the organisation, which is what customer service should do. This experience has contributed to my positive view of the Travelodge brand and made this particular Travelodge my first choice of hotel when staying in Cambridge.