Breakfast spoons and the art of great customer service

At one of our weekly management meetings I mentioned how I thought we had all been getting a bit slow at answering the phones recently and asked everyone to keep an ear out when it rings. One of the newest members of our team was surprised at this – saying how we were about the quickest to answer the phone at any company she had ever worked for. That may be so, but there is always room to improve – and it reminded me of some excellent customer service I once received in a hotel in the Middle East.

For the past few years I have been lucky enough to get away with my wife for a long weekend at a very nice hotel in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE. With a 5 star rating on Trip Advisor, it boasts great food, excellent rooms and staff that couldn’t be any more helpful.

Breakfast is to be found at a large self-service restaurant with a spectacular selection of food from almost every part of the world. It may sound silly but one of the things I found most impressive was that when you chose something which requires a spoon to eat it, the waiter would notice and have a spoon waiting for you at your table before you’d even got back to your seat. One morning I decided to test the staff and picked out only foods that needed a spoon and each time I returned to my table a clean spoon had magically appeared.

On our most recent visit, however, the hotel had employed a new manager and we quickly noticed some changes, the spoons, alas, being one. This year we had to ask for spoons (I know – outrageous!). Although they arrived almost instantly, causing no disruption to our breakfast, it did make me think that the standard of service had dropped.

Going back to our management team meeting, we talked about the small things that can greatly affect customer experience and from now on, we are all looking for opportunities to give our customers a ‘spoon moment’ and deliver amazing customer support.

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