Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More Helicopter Service Awards

I'm worried about the Intercontinental Hotel group. The feeling you get these days when you stay in one of their hotels, frankly, is that they're trying everything to rip you off. For example I find in most hotels these days they provide at least one free bottle of water each day. Not in the Intercontinental -- I recently stayed at their Singapore hotel where they wanted to charge you the equivalent of £3 ($6) for a bottle!

As always it is the little things that make the difference -- no free newspaper for example, or a very poor selection of fruit at breakfast.

We have lots of choice in hotels these days -- with outstanding levels of service being set by some that the others simply have to live up to.

Intercontinental Hotels therefore get a ditched Helicopter award.

Now how about this example of putting the customer firmly in his place!

This comes from a friend of mine, Kevin Coulthard, who visited the Selfridges store in Manchester and went to the Illy coffee bar for a coffee and cake.

I'll let him continue: " My wife and I looked at the cakes on display in the counter next to the coffee bar and asked for two cakes, though I cannot remember what exactly they were. There were at least six types of cake on display.

The conversation went along the lines of the following with the names of the real cakes changed for the sake of anonymity

Me – 2 cappuccinos and two chocolate cakes please
Staff - I am sorry you cannot have those cakes only banana or apple
Me – Why? When the cakes I want are next to the ones you want to sell me
Staff – the others are selling fast and we need to sell banana and apple
Me – So you will go the cake counter and pick up apple and banana cakes but not chocolate
Staff – Yes because I can only sell apple and banana cakes
Me - So as the customer I cannot have what I want
Staff – No. Sorry.
Me – I will go elsewhere then
Staff – You can have a chocolate cake to take out
Me – But I cannot buy a chocolate cake to take out and eat it here with a coffee
Staff – No

At this point I was completely demoralised and went to M&S"

I think that's got to deserve a ditched helicopter award for Selfridges!

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Roger Harrop, The CEO Expert, has spent over 25 years leading international business at the highest level, ultimately a plc, putting him in a unique position to deal with contemporary business challenges. He is ranked in the top 10 of Management and Strategy Speakers worldwide by Speaker Wiki and twice voted by the members of The Academy for Chief Executives 'Speaker of the Year' He is an, Oxford, UK based, international motivational business growth speaker who inspires and entertains his audiences with his acclaimed Staying in the Helicopter® programmess. Over 20000 CEOs, business leaders in 40 countries have achieved transformational change through his thought provoking and entertaining talks laced with real-life stories, anecdotes and humour. Roger is an author, accredited SME business advisor, mentor, and independent director and has run businesses for major multi-national corporations. He is a Past-President of The Professional Speakers Association, a former Vice-President of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Liveryman with The Worshipful Company of Marketers.