What caused their business to lose THOUSANDS of pounds?

I have spoken at a certain conference hotel three or four times.  It’s in the midlands, and, by all accounts seems to be a popular venue.

But they have lost £thousands in lost recommendations (from me), by being belligerent and pedantic.  This is almost unbelievable…

At a recent event, when I asked for 30 colour photocopies, the receptionist said that they probably would be unable to do so.  “Oh dear… I offered.  She walked away – and a few moments later came back and told me that the photocopying machine was ‘Not working properly’.

“OK – how about if I email you a pdf – could you print out 30 colour copies?”  I asked.  “Happy to pay for them of course…!”

After a bit of tutting and frowing and fussing from her part, she finally agreed that this could ‘probably’ be done.  So I sent the file directly from my phone…

She disappeared again returning to confirm that the pdf had arrived.  Then, another delay whilst she searched for the price list.  “That’s 50p per copy… so £15 please”.

OUCH!  But I needed the printouts, so I fished into my wallet and pocket…  I had a £10 note and four £1 coins on me.  “Would you accept £14 – it’s all the cash I have?”  I asked.

Then – quite unbelievably…

“I’m not authorised to give you that discount.”

I honestly thought she was joking… but her silence confirmed the truth!

“Then give me 28 copies!” I said amazed at such a reaction over a trivial amount.

“I have already set the machine to print 30 copies.” she told me.

She then suggested I could pay by card… I didn’t – and asked that she get authorisation for a £1 discount from her manager.

More tutting, frowning and sighing… She disappeared yet again, returning with the great news that her boss had said – “Just call it £10”.  But the damage had been done.  I was now a dissatisfied customer.

Why don’t her managers give HER discretion up to £25 or so for such situations?  I wonder if her bosses would claim that they empower their staff (and then do nothing about it)!

My whole experience of this venue has been sullied by a £1 issue.  Guess who I WON’T be recommending to my clients when they ask me of a good venue in the area.  They have potentially lost £000’s of revenue through being about as customer focused as a gnat!

Hospitality should be hospitable!

Rant over.

Yoo Wisdom: Do YOU empower staff – REALLY?  What is in place to prove it?  Are YOU empowered at work?  How do you know?

Do YOU allow someone’s perception of your business to be spoiled over trivial stuff?  Because it’s the rules!?  Who remembers that TV phrase: “Computer says ‘NO’!” 

Be your best Yoo

Andy and the Yoo team

PS If you want to rebuild confidence, relationships – or tear down some barriers, then check out the Yoo Personal Development Course

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