What is more important a good product or good customer service? It is a question I pondered on a recent trip to Portland.

I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on the south side of the city. While it was a perfectly acceptable hotel, with clean rooms at a reasonable price, the service from their staff left me wondering if they knew they were in the hospitality industry. It started at check in.

I arrived after a long day of meetings and travel. As my associate and I  approached the desk, the clerk was working on something and didn’t look up. Kathy and I chatted and waited, and waited and waited. When he finally looked up, he simply said “name please” followed by “credit card please” followed by “here is your room key.”

On the good side, he did say please, but I was expecting more:  “Hello, welcome to Holiday Inn. Sorry to keep you waiting. Enjoy your stay”.

It wasn’t the Conrad Hilton, but I was still expecting a friendly greeting. The lack of welcome was a little thing, but it immediately made me question my choice of hotel. It put a sour tone on the entire experience.

Every day as you and your employees interact with clients there are hundreds of “moments of truth.”  Those small opportunities to delight or disappoint your customers. Do you create an exceptional experience with a warm greeting and a great attitude, or does your rigid adherence to your rules turn people off?

As I was writing this post, I found a blog post by Chris Brogan, recounting his experience  at his favorite Las Vegas hotel.  He was hoping for steak, but got objections from the hotel staff.  You need to read his post, but let me say anytime someone is annoyed enough to post the video clip of Jack Nicholson asking for toast in the movie Five Easy Pieces, he is really annoyed.

You spend so much time and effort attracting clients, be sure your service keeps them coming back.

At Roundpeg, we believe there is a connection between marketing and customer service.