Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Loyalty and Service

I've written about brand loyalty and good customer service before.  Loyalty is certainly something any brand would want, but a lot of companies forget about the customer service part.

Today I have a story of customer service that has adjusted my loyalty in a positive direction.

Yesterday I travelled to Minnesota as I do quite often.  After work, I stopped at the grocery store on my way to the hotel and my credit card was declined.  I thought it was because I forgot the notify the company that I was travelling.  So I called them from the grocery store parking lot to straighten it out.

It turns out someone had gotten our numbers and were using them to buy things we wouldn't normally buy.  Chase froze the account instantaneously and waited for me to call them.

Once they established who I was, they told me what happened.  We closed the account and they overnighted a card to me.

I proceeded to my hotel and told them my card was coming... tomorrow.  So I wouldn't have a way to guarantee the room charges until then.  They let me stay the night and said not to worry about it.

Certainly it's a good thing that I have been staying at this hotel regularly for quite some time.  So we know each other a little more than just customer and supplier.

Of course there are other options, fancier options, newer options, even slightly less-expensive options.  Some of the guys I work with have been trying to convince me to try another place, but I stay at this hotel because the staff is so great.  They honestly do the little things that make the experience better. 

They remember me and are genuinely happy to see me.  They remember me on the phone.  They always fix anything that needs fixing.  I never have to ask twice.  It's not just me, they are nice to everyone.  Perhaps it's a Minnesota thing, but the staff at the same brand in Tucson was just as great.

So this is really just a reminder that this Customer Loyalty - Customer Service thing is a two way street.  When you give your customers great service, they will reward you with great loyalty.

I have had a love-hate relationship with Chase Bank over the years.  I can't say I have been in love with them, but the like part has outweighed the hate part, so we have continued to use them.  Today though, I like them significantly more than two days ago.

The big story here is with the Residence Inn by Marriott.  I love them way more than two days ago.  Of course big part is because of the people at my particular location, but I can tell you that I have had great service from the Residence Inn in Tucson as well as whenever I've wanted to redeem points.


Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Yay! I love stories like this! They are a good reminder too.

Oak Haven Alpacas said...

We had a similar thing happen with our bank/debit/visa card. It did make us appreciate our bank so much more!! But I am so impressed with your hotel. That was above and beyond.


Voie de Vie said...

Well thank goodness the credit card theft had a happy ending. I can only imagine how shocked you must have been when you found out what was going on.

And the Marriott should be commended - I've had a somewhat similar situation (at a different hotel) and it did not work out so nicely. Of course, that hotel will never get any more of my business. :)

The power of good customer service - everyone should blog about it!

Kathryn Ray said...

Seriously, I'm not sure what I would have done if they didn't let me stay on Monday night. I am very grateful.

The important point though, is that they've been great from the begining so I have wanted to continue to stay with them. Doing that gave us the opportunity to build a stronger relationship that was there when it really mattered.