You know it is possible that Hotel customers may be more impressed by a service recovery than they are unimpressed by a failure itself (carry on reading or watch the video).

Let me tell you the story of the Hotel that provided an annual special meal for a special holiday.

Customers would book the table in advance, to be sure to have it for the holiday. One year, due to a Flood, the restaurant was not available.

Customers were contacted and told that the Hotel would not be able to provide their special holiday meal in the restaurant that they had booked.

Worse, due to the late date, customers were unlikely to be able to get a table in another Hotel or Restaurant, either.

The Hotel staff worked very hard to create a restaurant within a tent in their gardens. They then drove to their customers’ homes and delivered them an Invitation late the evening before the holiday to their special holiday meal in the new tent restaurant. Just in time!

But further, they gave each customer a free holiday cake, a bouquet of flowers and coupon for their next visit to the Hotel, and a hand-written note of apology for the inconvenience.

And, of course, they did not charge for the holiday meal in the tent restaurant!

Clearly, this was exceptional service recovery:

  1. The Hotel Compensated directly for the service recovery. The Hotel delivered the invitations by hand.
  • The Hotel Assessed and anticipated all other damages. Because this was an important holiday, the Hotel recognized the need to communicate personally with customers.
  • The Hotel Expressed concerns to the guest that they were aware of and regretted all inconveniences that had occurred and were occurring. The hand-written note of apology did this.
  • The Hotel Offered additional compensation or “freebie” – something that the guest will enjoy, of little or no cost to the Hotel.
  • The Hotel Expressed a sincere and genuine invitation to return. The coupon invited customers back to the Hotel.

While it is important to have a comprehensive service recovery strategy, it is even more important to learn from service failures – and prevent them from happening again.

Let’s hope our Hotel scheduled preventive maintenance so that the flood would not have such an impact again!

Honesty, Information, the speed of fixes, Apologies and Compensation may contribute to there being an improved customer relationship after a failure than there was before a failure.

You know it is possible that customers may be more impressed by a service recovery than they are unimpressed by a failure itself.

(By the way …. All of the guests re-booked again for the Special Holiday Feast the year after).

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