Conversations with… a guest
I have heard so many moving stories from fellow hoteliers and my own staff over the course of my career about how small gestures go a long way in wowing guests. I?ve told a few in this blog already. They are good for business and sometimes can have lasting returns, as I was reminded when I recently welcomed back one of our long-time guests.
During one of his first visits to our hotel the guest was accompanying his niece to New York for a special surgical treatment in a nearby hospital. The first two nights were to be spent at The Benjamin before the surgery, and she would return for a few days recovery afterward.
As she checked out the morning of the surgery, GSA Lauren struck up a conversation. The niece commented about how wonderful our pillows were and she doubted the hospital could even come close to providing that level of comfort. Intuitively, Lauren asked what hospital she was going to and arranged for two Benjamin pillows to be placed on her hospital bed post surgery, accompanied by a get-well card from the staff.
The guest and his niece were overwhelmed by Lauren?s kind gesture. What Lauren didn?t know was that the guest happened to be the CEO of a major U.S. retail company? who subsequently moved all his business to our hotel and personally stays with us at least 10 times a year.
Lauren?s gesture of kindness has never been forgotten. Empowering our staff to make the kind of decision Lauren made ? usually without a manager?s approval ? is gratifying for the staff as much as it is for the guests. Small gestures can have big pay-offs, and there is nothing I love more than hearing stories like these.