Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

When We Go Above and Beyond

Great customer service is a big part of our industry. We know by providing great service, friends are more likely to recommend our centers and products to others. We have the opportunity to turn upset guests into raving fans, even when it means we may need to go against our written policy.

As a party manager, there were times a guest would show up late, not meet the minimum requirements of guests for the party, or cancel in less time than we had stated on our agreements. Our job was to do everything we could, within reason, to make it right with the guest to create a lasting experience and make them as happy as possible.

In the past two years, we have visited almost ten different countries and taken many weekend vacations. My husband’s grandmother came to visit, and we wanted to show her what Indonesia had to offer. So, last weekend we planned to take her to Yogyakarta, the cultural mecca of Indonesia. We left for the airport with plenty of time to arrive two hours early. It typically takes about one and one-half hours to get there. Jakarta has some of the worst traffic I have ever seen, and I’m from Houston! Unfortunately, it took us over 3½ hours to get to the airport. We missed our flight. We tried flying standby for the next two outbound flights and had no luck. We even tried to reschedule for the next day, but the flights were 100% booked.

We explained our situation to the hotel and let them know we needed to cancel the reservation.  Since we had booked the trip through hotels.com, we called them the next day to see what our options were. The policy stated we would have to pay for one night, which we were ready to do, and that they wouldn’t refund any early departures. We explained the situation, and they said they would contact the hotel and that we should as well.

The hotel failed to return our calls and informed hotels.com they would be charging us for the entire booking. We requested again that they review the policy with the hotel, and they said: “Sorry, you are required to pay the full booking.”

While we completely understand the situation the hotel was in, we know if they wanted to make us raving fans, they would attempt to work something out with us but in this case, they weren’t willing to do that.

So, it made me think. If we had been able to honor our reservation, I wonder what kind of service we would have received. My guess is they probably would have focused on what was best for them and NOT good for us!

As owners and managers of our centers, we have the ability to make or break our guest’s day. It is so important to listen to each situation and choose a great outcome for our customer and the center. So, this week I challenge you to go above and beyond, make their day, provide great service, and turn them into lifelong guests. As for me, I’m headed to Bali this weekend and we are not missing this flight!

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