Secret Shopper Experience

Have you ever had the opportunity to go stay some where, or shop at a store where you are either going to be comp’d for the amount you have to pay, or it is free and they just want to know your experience? I had that opportunity this weekend to stay at a local hotel that was inquiring of our organization if we could use their facilities for events or recommendations.
I was excited since it happened to fall on my Anniversary and without going into a long elaboration, we did our travels for the summer a few weeks ago so getting out of the house to stay in a hotel was a nice treat.

Beware of the lazy employee:
So, when we arrived, I felt as if we were slighly inconveniencing the young lady at the front desk by even being there. But she was pleasant enough and gave us our keys and we were on our way. Later in the evening my wife and I had planned to enjoy something we have never done…order room service. So, I call Room Service 1 hour prior to the close of the “announced hours of operation” and what do i hear “I’m sorry sir, due to the slow traffic here tonight (on a Saturday night) we have closed the grill down. But I can still serve you from the bar.” So, they can make sure customers, the sum total of maybe 15 in the hotel, get inebriated but would not want them to have any food with it. Also, if you are in the service industry, and you have as I said, 15 customers, it would be a smart move to alert your customers of this sudden decision.

Cleanliness likened to Godliness:
Upon a casual glance on the floor between the bed and the side table I was startled to see a fairly large, but thankfully dead, spider. So I glanced around the other side and it was apparent that a vacuum had not touched that area in a number of weeks, not days!
Be the salt in a bland world:
We were fortunate to have a coupon for breakfast, so we got up early and came down for some breakfast. It was..as the rest of the experience, less than desirable. The best things were the syrup and powdered sugar on the waffle or french toast and the fruit. Everything else was some of the most bland food I have tasted.

Service before self:
Overall the stay was average. It did not in the least bit cause me to want to invite guests or host events there in the future. In fact, I would likely refer people across the parking lot first to the competitor before going there.

The moral of the story in this is treat every customer as if they are the prince of Persia and deserve the highest treatment. It should not take a “VIP” rating next to a name in the system to receive VIP treatment. You never know when a representative who can refer 10 or 100 customers to your organization is sitting before you.

Serve well and serve always.

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