Recently, I took a business trip and stayed in a name brand hotel chain that I frequent in my travels. I was shocked and disappointed by the condition of the hotel. It was dirty and moldy! I was expecting to be greeted by name and given a few rewards, due to my status with the hotel company. I was disappointed because I was not called by name, and the woman checking me in denied me my free breakfast coupons.

What do we typically do after a bad experience with a hotel? Most of us start by telling our co-workers about our experience. We might even write about our experience on Facebook or Twitter. Perhaps we would go directly to TripAdvisor and leave a scathing review.

What we don’t do often enough is take the time to let the hotel manager know about our experience. And we are exactly the customers the manager wants to hear from!

Today, the power of social media has so much power away from hotels, restaurants, and retail managers. Most of us would prefer to avoid the potential conflict that comes from a complaint, and find the outlet for our frustration on social media. I was preparing to write a critical review on TripAdvisor.

Instead, as I was checking out, the manager asked me how my stay was. I explained the situation and told her my perspective on the housekeeping crew. She promised to review my concern with the hotel manager, and asked if she could offer me 30,000 points so I could have a free night at the chain. This was a significant apology and one that I accepted with gratitude. She thanked me for giving her the opportunity to improve their service.

That is when it hit me! Talking to management about a problem we are having is not seen as complaining.

Managers see it as an opportunity to improve their service to everyone. Next time you receive poor service, contact the manager right away and explain the situation. You will most likely enjoy the benefit of an immediate solution.

If customer service is important for your business, click here to access Dale Carnegie’s Outstanding Customer Service Guide!

Posted by Mary Kuniski

Mary Kuniski is a catalyst for business and individual change. Throughout her career, she has consistently led corporate businesses into the future, often achieving process improvement and change that others could not. Mary’s enthusiastic attitude and tenacious ability to keep moving forward is why she identifies with this quote from Dale Carnegie: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Passionate about problem resolution and committed to coaching and leading others, Mary is driven to ensure that everything she does provides lasting value. At a young age, her leadership and public speaking skills were recognized and nurtured through her ten-year participation in 4-H. She has also fostered change for businesses such as Parkinson Voice Project, where she directed the implementation of their website and online learning management system, and Overhead Door Corporation, where she created and launched a successful core data process improvement strategy. During her tenure with The Michaels Companies, Mary held five Director positions and three Vice President roles, and pioneered the company’s expansion into Quebec. Her efforts to lead the transformation of over 40,000 craft items to three languages resulted in Michaels becoming the first international retailer to acquire language certification from Quebec on the initial attempt. This meant Michaels successfully adherred to strict French-language laws. Mary has over 20 years in executive leadership in the retail industry and for 10 years led supply chain shipment improvement and savings and reduction efforts at Michaels. Mary is a Dale Carnegie graduate, certified trainer, and consultant for Dale Carnegie DFW's Executive Leadership training. She holds an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix and a degree in Human Development, Clothing Studies from Pennsylvania State University.

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