I arrive at The Hilton Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh late on Tuesday night for my first stay in over 9 months. I check out on Wednesday morning and, as I’m at the front desk, a tap on the shoulder. The head concierge. “Morning Mr Barrow, nice to see you back with us, would you like me to look after your suitcase today whilst you are working in town? I didn’t notice your car outside.”
I pop into “Up and Running” in Birmingham on Tuesday morning to take a look at some new running shoes for the Marathon. The sales assistant, a young lady, is knowledgable, enthusiastic and helps me to take a test on the treadmill, she has me try at least 5 pairs on and eventually recommends the Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes that I ran in yesterday morning for the first time. I’m sorry I didn’t catch her name, her employee number on the receipt is 218;
I tweet how happy I am with the shoes – and later I have a tweet from Brooks running shoes “thanking me for the love”.
All of which makes me feel like a valued client. Contrast this with the Hilton Bromsgrove on Monday afternoon – and a meeting with Nigel Jones and the event management team from Practice Plan. Nigel and I walk over to the coffee counter where a sour faced young girl looks at us. Nigel asks politely “could we order a couple of coffees please?” She looks at us like we crawled out from under a stone and exclaims: “Have you got a tab?” as if a tab were an STD. “No” says Nigel, “we have just arrived.” “I’ll need to take a credit card swipe,” as if we are criminals intent on defrauding the Hilton Group of two drinks. Hopeless – and yet Hilton are supposed to have this right. I’ll remember the first three experiences but I’ll dine out on the last.