The fine line between great service and forceful offerings

by leeshb

Another holiday inspired post today, and I’ve been thinking greatly about the difference between when a company offers a great service in contrast to pushing their service onto people (which has very interesting consequences).

I had a really irritating experience last week, when the entertainment team of the hotel would push activities onto people throughout the day, and if they did not feel like taking part they would take it personally and treat them badly. Now maybe this is just culture on their behalf, but in turn they are supposed to be the “faces” of the hotel, therefore the services they provide should be enhancing the stay for the customers, not making them regret visiting that hotel. I would be lying on the beach, sitting in the lobby or even just standing around and these people would consistently ask to “play volleyball” or “belly-dance” as if they were being watched by management to see if they were doing their job. The line with me drew when one of the team woke me up from a glorious sleep on the beach, waving over my eyes, to ask me to play table tennis.

As I study marketing, I understand why this service is so important for the hotel. They want people to know that they care about their customers having fun. Sure, that makes sense. But as a customer, I felt cornered by their staff and not made to feel any better about staying at the hotel- if anything they were the only let down.

I personally think that in this case it is important for that service to take place. I do not doubt that entertainment at a hotel is an important factor especially for family holidays. The approach however, should be taken into consideration. I would suggest the entertainment having a place in the hotel where everybody knows where to go IF they want to do an activity, with clear boards around the hotel showing what times the activities are taking place. This would avoid irritating customers who just want a peaceful holiday.

Overall there is a balance that needs to be maintained when service design takes place. This is in all scenarios. When I was working in retail all of the staff were urged every day by managers to “sell” the loyalty card- even if the customer shows signs of not wanting one. This used to confuse me as I didn’t understand why it would make sense to try and cause irritation to the customer. There has to be rules put in place of ways to approach customers, how to get them listening and an understanding of when to step back and leave them alone. If this is all implemented I’m sure that the concept of “forceful offerings” will be decreased if not eliminated completely.