Bad Customer Care – Life Happens
The other day I stayed in a grotty hotel. It was tired and grubby and all night the plumbing gurgled and rattled.
The next morning the shower water wouldn’t drain away and the toilet wouldn’t flush. It was such a huge relief when daylight arrived – I couldn’t get out fast enough.
That lunch time I regaled the tale of this hotel to my fellow diners. One of them, who knew I ran my own business, turned to me and said, “Next time you ought to have a word with the boss and book up a better hotel.”
I had to smile because his words were absolutely true; being the boss I was the one responsible for booking the hotel. Therefore if I chose to book a cheap hotel then I had to take the consequences.
It’s Not About How Much You Spend
However it’s not guaranteed that more money equates to a better experience. I recently spent a lot of money taking my parents out to a hotel with excellent recommendations for its food. We were excited at the prospect of a luxurious afternoon tea with scones, cream and cucumber sandwiches. However we ended up sorely disappointed. The staff were rushed, they had over-booked and we ended up sitting in the busy hallway trying to make the most of it. I felt really flat afterwards.
There is no rhyme or reason to life. We often try to make sense of it and we’re nearly always disappointed. So for example we would agree that a cheap hotel is likely to equate to a poor experience but we would then expect that an expensive hotel would lead to a great experience.
Many of us want there to be some kind of intrinsic justice that rules the world. We want bad things to happen to bad people and good things to happen to good people. If we work harder and are nice to people then surely that means we’ll somehow be rewarded. Sadly life isn’t as neat as that.
Raging at Life
The real trouble comes when we start to get angry at the hand that life has dealt us. I speak to dozens of clients who spend an enormous amount of energy raging at life. It’s a bit like the man who shakes his fist at the rain for being wet, or the girl who cries and pleads with the sun to stop being hot. It is pointless to waste energy on that which you cannot change.
Life happens. It’s neither malevolent nor benevolent – it just is. Our only real choice is how we decide to respond to it. We can ride the wave or we can crash in the surf, the choice is ours.
We Have a Choice
I can’t change the experiences I had in the hotels. However I have a choice. I can use up my energy by stoking up my fury at the poor service. This would mean the more I thought about the experiences the more I would get angry. Or I could do something else. So what have I done? In the big scheme of life both experiences are just a blip. I wanted to give both hotels some feedback so I’ve chosen to write a letter of complaint – but regardless of the outcome I won’t be dwelling on it.