I am blessed to be attending the gala Singapore Experience Awards as a guest of the Singapore Tourism Board. I was asked earlier in the year to serve as a judge to help determine the best experience providers in Singapore. As you likely know, I am a fan of this uniquely special city/state and truly enjoy the hospitality and fusion of eastern and western cultures that exude from this magical land.
That said, this trip has afforded me a couple of negative, aha moments related to my hotel stay. I have never been let down for inspiring service experience at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia but this visit found me in another high-end prominent Singaporean hotel. The amenities are impeccable, the staff friendly and extremely efficient but…..empathy is missing. Suffice it to say the operational excellence of this hotel may come at the expense of a heartfelt understanding and anticipation of guest needs – at least as it relates to a series of incidents I encountered.
Since Singapore is twelve hours ahead of my home time zone, I find myself sleeping at times during the day. For the first two days of my visit, I had my electronic “do not disturb” sign on and had advised the front desk of a desired early evening wake up time. Over those two days, I was awakened a total of 5 times for items the hotel staff wished to deliver to my room or over concerns that I needed my room refreshed.
Those experiences punctuate a truth – great products and task oriented albeit efficient service can still go bad when the emotional need state and empathy for the plight of your customer is missing. Bleary eyed but enthusiastically, I challenge you to think of opportunities to “step into your customer’s shoes” and not simply dazzle them with what you want to achieve on their behalf or possibly at their expense.