Posted by: Marty Fahncke | April 5, 2010

Taking Customer Service to a “higher” level

I’m always on the lookout for examples of businesses that provide something extra in their marketing or customer service so I can share them with you.  Who knew I would find it at a Best Western in Branson, Missouri.

Researching a recent weekend getaway with my kids, TripAdvisor said the #1 rated hotel in Branson was the Best Western Music Capital Inn.   I admit to being a bit suspicious of the results, as my last stay at a Best Western was probably 15 or 20 years ago…and it wasn’t a pleasant one.  My impression of Best Western was “cheap, dirty, and thin walls”.  However, I have yet to be disappointed in TripAdvisor reviews, so I called the hotel and booked the room.   They gave me an excellent rate on a huge family suite…on a holiday weekend no less.

We checked in, and the hotel was indeed clean, nice and perfect for our needs.  Everything met with expectations and matched the reviews.  So what was the “something extra”?

Best Western Music Capital Inn Customer Service Bible

Upon walking into the room, I noticed on the dresser was a Bible open to Proverbs.  That open Bible was “Customer Service Distinction #1” as most hotels don’t display the Bible, they just stick it in the nightstand drawer.  In fact, I’m noticing more and more hotels doing away with supplying a Bible in the room at all.

The Stranger Within Our Gates prayer best western branson
Customer Service Distinction #2 was the card that was with the Bible.  It read as follows:

To Our Guests
In ancient times there was a prayer for “The Stranger Within Our Gates.”  Because we care about our guests, we pray that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and hotel be your “second” home and may those you love be near you in your thoughts and dreams.

May your stay with us be an enjoyable one and may you feel as comfortable as if you were in your own home. Amen.

Sincerely,
Team Members of
Myer Hotels

In my 20 years of business travel, I’ve stayed at some of the top hotels in the world, including Ritz Carltons, Mandarin Orientals, and many other 5 star hotels in the U.S. and Asia.  I’ve been greeted and made welcome by some of the best trained staff in the world.   Yet with a simple gesture, the little Best Western in Branson made me and my kids feel welcome and blessed for staying there.

Nice touch.

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Responses

  1. I’m VERY impressed!

    We keep one in our library, but I never thought to take it to this level of awareness. THANKS for sharing.

  2. @Mary – You are welcome. Glad I could inspire some ideas! Not sure how you could do something like this in an RV parking spot, but I’m sure you’ll figure something out. 🙂

  3. I find this particulary surprising because Branson is a popular tourist destination and its visitors come from all over the world. I think the prominent display of a bible must not feel particularly welcoming to Buddhists, atheists, Hindus, Muslims,or any other group whose beliefs are rooted to a different text. The message on the “To Our Guests” card is a lovely one, and doesn’t need the emphasis of the bible. I think the Good Book belongs back in the nightstand drawer.

    • @Deb – Thank you for commenting. I just spent some time looking at the wonderful pictures on your website. They are great images of many beautiful countries and cultures. While doing so, I was thinking about what you have said. Here are my thoughts:

      #1 If I was visiting Japan, I would be delighted to walk in to my hotel room to find a warm sentiment from the hotel management resting against a statue of Buddha. I would understand that I am traveling to a different culture, and I would hope and expect to see evidence of that culture. I would NEVER expect or ask that the Buddha statue be placed in a nightstand drawer. That would be insulting to my hosts. The same would be true for any item of the predominant religion in a location I might be visiting. The majority of Americans are Christian. Branson is advertised as a great destination for Christians: http://www.bransonchristiantours.com and http://www.bransonchurchgroups.com are just two examples among many. Therefore, the noticeable placement of a Bible in the room is entirely proper.

      #2 Most successful businesses know that trying to be “all things to all people” usually leads to being “nothing to nobody”. A business that can define and then please its customer has a better chance of success. This hotel has done just that by identifying and appealing to a certain audience. That’s smart business.

      #3 I’m grateful to live in a country where we enjoy the freedoms to express our views on religion or anything else. Where we do not live in fear of our lives just for sharing our opinion. You and I have the freedom to form our own opinions on this matter because with live in a country founded on Judeo-Christian principals. We may not agree, but we are allowed to express what we think. That is NOT a freedom afforded by some of the religions you mentioned above. I find that very sad.

      Thanks again for the thought-provoking comment. I really do appreciate it, and I hope you have a great day!
      Marty


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