Friday, February 21, 2014

Up for the cup

In the Customer Experience industry you get approached by lots of vendors trying to get you to adopt expensive solutions involving plenty of consulting to optimise your customer experience.

Personally I'm a great believer in simple and effective solutions to deliver great experiences, and I had one of these this week that I just had to share.

I've been a frequent visitor to Manchester with work over recent years, spending much time at our Contact Centres and ‘Little Red Shed’ nearby the Airport, which is the ideal place to stay for both the office and transportation links alike.

When you get to travel a lot to the same area, you soon find you have a favourite hotel – in my case the Radisson Blu, where you can always enjoy breakfast overlooking the flights at their gate.

If you get left alone long enough to enjoy your breakfast, that is.

This was the crux of a review of the hotel that I posted on Trip Advisor a couple of years back, due to the over attentiveness of their waiting staff asking you all the time whether you wanted tea or coffee with your breakfast (which I don’t drink):

For what is otherwise a really good hotel, I thought the advice would help – and to their credit they replied to say they'd take it on board:

I thought nothing further of it until I took our team up for a Contact Centre visit and a ride out day (with our engineers in the area) this week and spotted this over breakfast at the hotel:

No I don't mean my colleague Chris (he who can’t cope with the obvious ambiguity within the "be ready for the taxi at 0715" instruction) enjoying his breakfast, I mean the cup.

Take a closer look, from a photo before Chris joined me at the cup in front of me on the right of the table:

My cup was upturned.

The staff did this as soon as I declined their offer of a cup of tea or coffee, upturning it so that there was a totally unambiguous visual clue that I'd been asked whether I wanted a cuppa, had turned it down and hence didn't need to be asked again – ensuring the staff saved their time and I didn't feel bothered.

Isn’t that a great experience?  You've got to hand a massive credit to the team at the hotel restaurant for thinking through and implementing so well such a simple and effective process.

And I’m sorry for turning the cup over 4 times just to check that they would ask me 'the question' again (they did).

I promise I'll behave next time I visit.

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