As with all things, good customer service tends to mean different things to different people, from the processes in a hotel and spa, to the style, design and ultimately the smiles and nature of the staff who greet their clients.
If you look at any reviews site or feedback from people visiting hotels, restaurants and spas, one of the biggest things that is commented on is the friendliness of the staff. Even when a logistical element in one’s experience has gone wrong, a helpful, warm and understanding team is invariably a winning formula.
On a recent trip to Rookery Hall, one Spabreaks.com client was particularly blown away by the customer service, prompting us to want to talk more about the wider matter. If you haven’t been to Rookery Hall, then by dint of its style and grandeur it is worth it. The Cheshire hotel and spa is an exemplary experience, from the hotel which was built in 1816 and sits in 38 acres of gardens and wooded parkland fringing the banks of the River Weaver, to the recently renovated spa itself.
The spa takes you on a sensory journey from the thermal experiences to the treatments, weaving together traditional spa practices inspired by Roman tradition with 21st century efficacy and the holistic knowhow to complete the wellbeing factor. So from that start there isn’t really anything to fault on the facilities and design front, which makes for an excellent start to the experience.
What struck our guest however, who had been before and knew full well what to expect from the location, was the consistently welcoming, warm and helpful nature of the staff: “they are just a bundle of joy from the moment you arrive,” she said, “everyone you meet is amazing. They help with the bags, they show you around the spa rather than simply offering directions, and everyone, even if they are not serving you directly, makes a point of greeting you and giving the impression that they’re up to speed with you and your stay.”
In the restaurant, the service is spot on as well, “they make sure your glass is always topped up, they offer suggestions from the menu, and they really make you feel as though they are talking to you personally.”
The adage goes that the devil is in the details, and certainly this seems to be where the difference is felt when it comes to service. We all like flawless design, but what we really like is the palette cleanser between meals, the proverbial chocolate on our pillows at night.
Similarly, at The Lowry in Manchester, another guest commented effusively on the friendliness of the staff. Accustomed to celebrity clientele, their effortless charm extends to every member of staff, proving welcoming but unobtrusive, and friendly at every turn. The fact that room service isn’t served on a tray, but brought up and laid on an in-room dining table so you get a proper experience rather than a sense of camping on your bed, is a case in point: “it’s the little things that you just don’t get anywhere else.” said our guest.
Back at Rookery Hall, the details extend into the spa experience, which of course is where so much of our personal interest lies. You get a palette cleanser after your treatment, and therapists offer help and advice with their treatments, adapting them to you rather than following a prescriptive menu.
For example, our guest preferred a light massage but when her therapist found a high level of tension that would benefit from a more deep tissue approach, she asked permission based on her professional opinion to adapt the treatment, acknowledging the guest’s wishes, but offering advice as well, which made for a more beneficial experience.
The bottom line is that for all the bells and whistles a hotel and spa can have, without good customer service a lot of it can be lost on the guest. The big question is, what does good customer service mean to you?
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