Taking a break from the zip lining and photos for a minute to tell stories.
As you may know, I'm a bit of a letter writer. I hate to admit this, but often, after a vacation, I send letters to the places we stay or eat at. If the service/food/room was excellent, they'll hear all about it. If they brought my dinner cold and didn't care, or the room smelled of smoke, or there was NO HOT WATER for a shower, they'll hear that too. Poor TOG will be sitting there watching the gears turn in my head and finally whisper loudly "Do not write them a letter, let it go".
Like most people that have worked in customer service, I'm aware that things go wrong occasionally. It's not so much the things that go wrong that determine the quality of the experience, as much as what occurs afterward. As well, sometimes the staff is performing daily miracles in the basement, and management doesn't know it. Many corporations large and small set out the comment cards because they want to know about your experience, but I prefer to do it free form! This last week, I sent two letters via email to folks in Victoria.
The first was to Victoria Acura. After the window mechanism broke, I found their number while on the ferry. The man that answered had to deal with an agitated woman that described her situation as an "Acura Emergency". He was so professional and calm and I really felt that they were going to work something out for me. Their Service Department was also very calm and squeezed me in on a Saturday afternoon with no appointment. TOG was sure they were going to charge me the big bucks, but the repair was ingenious and cheap and they had us underway in about 45 minutes. I sent the letter to the Dealership Manager. Lots of recognition for the three people that helped me, even though I only knew the name of the mechanic because it was sewn on his overalls!
The second letter was to the hotel. We stay there every summer because they're spotlessly maintained and reasonable for being right downtown. This weekend was Tall Ships Festival and the long weekend before Canada Day. They're swamped. We're lucky to get a room (which reservations had found us two days before) and we know it. We went to check in, and they had upgraded us to a Royal Suite. Good thing my lungs were working! The room wasn't going to be ready until three so they took our bags and we went off to the water front. We're back at three and the room's not ready. We leave again and come back at a quarter to four. Still not ready. We're hot (it's 85 out), sweaty and we've been up since 4:30 in the morning. They had housekeeping do our room next and they comped our parking for the entire stay. They did a number of other small, amazing things while we were there and I made sure the property manager knew it.
I always hope that that kind of information makes it back to the front line folks. And while I've written letters about things that weren't well handled, I prefer taking the time to write the compliment as well. I hope those folks feel appreciated. All to often, I've seen them get yelled at by guests for things that were out of their control!
Do you write letters or fill out comment cards? Am I just quirky?!