Athithi Devo Bhava (Guest is God) !!!

I am on one of my routine business travels. While starting from Surabaya to Shanghai I remembered my last flight from Surabaya to Mumbai when my luggage went to Hong Kong, I to Mumbai !!. I was hoping that no such hicc-up took place this time, when I started from Surabaya. Luckily I landed in Shanghai in shape and with my luggage. I landed at 23.00 hrs and the taxi from the hotel was waiting for me; again I was lucky - in one of my earlier visits to China, when I arrived late in the night, the taxi from the hotel had left before I could clear the immigration and customs !!!

Everything went on well till I reached the hotel. It was already midnight. There was a big crowd at the reception. After waiting for 15 minutes I got my chance for checking-in. It was as usual - the assistant asked me for my passport. She started checking some lists, pressed some keys of the keyboard, looked seriously at the monitor, went around opening some drawers/files, showing signs of settling me soon in a room. It looked as though she was waiting for her boss who was attending some other guest. As soon as the boss was free, as usual, there was a loud discussion in Chinese. The boss - Manager (a young man in the twenties) started striking some keys of the key board in front of him with a lot of seriousness on his face; he started speaking to someone on mobile....I was restless. I was feeling sleepy and I had to get up early in the morning to attend a meeting at 08.00 hrs the next day (or that day !!!! as it was already 00.15 or so).

After a long telephone talk the Manager with a long face started with an "excuse me sir"..."all our rooms are occupied and I am sorry we don't have a room for you in our hotel just now". I protested:"we booked the room here long ago; all my colleagues who have come for the meeting are staying here and you have sent a hotel taxi to the airport to pick me up. How can you say now that I don't have accommodation here ?". I was furious. All my similar past experiences flashed through...I had to use all my skills to get a room, even after "all the rooms have been occupied"..should I follow one of them now; is offence a better form of defence?

The young man was apologitic; he said, "Sir please listen to me; I am extremely sorry that this has happened. I have already arranged for you a room for the night in a hotel five minutes from here. I shall bring you back to this hotel tomorrow morning". I realized the futility of arguing with him at that point at that odd hour; if I let him go then I would not be able to speak to anyone else there in English. Then I would be stuck there in the lobby till the next morning - till someone knowing English came in. I agreed to his suggestion.

The young manager accompanied me to the nearby hotel in the hotel car and saw to it that I was given a suitable room in that hotel. He promised me that he would come an pick me up the morning at 07.30. The substitute hotel room was definitely good. Exactly at 07.30 this young professional gave me a call; in about 10 minutes he brought me to his hotel in the hotel car. The way he conducted himself in a crisis situation impressed me. The guy has realized what customer satisfaction means to his business; the way he conducted himself (he could have asked a virtual non-entity to accompany me to the other hotel and sent a car to pick me up in the morning; but here he accompanied me and ensured by comfort, in spite of going beyond his working hours), I will not mind booking in the same hotel next. When my local host heard the story, he was furious and wanted to make a formal complaint; I told him about this young man and as far as this hotel has such people I am sure customers will come back to this hotel, in spite of hicc-ups.


Trusted Information Resource
This is exceeding customer's expectations or going out of the way to get things done.

Many in the service industry realized that by doing so or doing a little extra here and there, they can help to make a difference in the life of the customer for the day and also for themselves.

Imagine if an argument develops at the heat of the moment - everybody becomes a looser, everybody walk away angry, boiling and with blood pressure skyrocketing. Smart guys will avoid this.
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