In McAllen last week, I was robbed. I came back to my hotel room after a client dinner to realize my room had been invaded and items of extreme value taken. Needless to say – I was shaken to the core. When I called the front desk in a state of fear and panic, I was received with a laid back commentary that went something like this: “Our general manager is at home, he will be back at 7am tomorrow morning. We will be right on this tomorrow morning and will begin to interview housekeeping and other parties who may have been in your room. Try to get some sleep – we will see you tomorrow morning.”
Despite my concern and insistance that the police be called, and that someone come up to see the situation, I was dismissed after almost 20 minutes of weak empathy
from the night manager.
It was despicable.
This blog is offered to share my perspective on how to handle ANYONE who feels they have been robbed, cheated, and, in my case, not even heard.
- Meet them where they are. Listen to them. Hear them. It does not matter if believe them, agree with them, or simply don’t want to get involved. If you are the person
responsible for this relationship, as a sales person. account manager, or the night manager on duty when a hotel guest gets robbed – meet them where they are. Period.
- Respond. The response will differ depending on the situation. In my case, a simple call to the police, movement to another room, or the night security guard coming to my room would have gone a long way. Instead, I was told to come to the front desk at 6am the next morning (before my 6:30am workshop started) to reopen this situation with the day manager. That was the wrong answer. Respond, show understanding, and act accordingly. Words
are not enough.
- Apologize and do your best to make it right. It really does not matter if you are right or wrong at this stage in the game. This was where the hotel did ‘make good’ on the situation. Even though their actions stemmed from extreme duress put on them by my host client (who, by the way, were exemplary in their diplomacy, negotiation skills, and unemotional professionalism in supporting me and my unfortunate situation). Nevertheless, perhaps the hotel did learn from this situation. They darkened the skies with police, administrative support, and TLC (tender, loving, care) – albeit the day after. Reports were filed, claims were promised, and sincere customer service finally emerged.
There are no accidents. I learned, once again from personal experience, the power of simply being heard when you need to be heard! And, there is such solace in someone simply responding to your needs. It is amazing how often this does not happen. We can all take notice and try to remember this in our own businesses and daily interactions.