I spent the bank holiday in Lisbon with some close friends. Lisbon is a great city, and we had a great time. I needed to change currency from sterling to euro and asked at the hotel reception for the best place to do so. They advised that there are several banks near to the hotel in the Marquês de Pombal Square where I could easily change money. For a start, most of the banks only change money for their customers and some quite simply don’t do it. When a clerk at a Brazilian bank told me their rates, I was aghast. He suggested however that I use the local money exchange services as their rates were much better and that I could find several around the corner.
Surprisingly, their rates were comparable to what we would get in London. What concerned me however was the blasé way in which I was advised to just go to the banks by the hotel reception, when in actual fact it was the worst place. When I returned to the hotel, I told them of my experience and that they should make greater effort to inform their guests of the various options. His excuse was that guests would be unwilling to make the journey downtown. In my view, this is a decision they should be allowed to make of their own volition.
When working with clients, we need to do our best to ensure we are as informed as we can be, because just that experience alone could have marred my impression of that hotel. We are living in an age where businesses are being listed on on-line directories and customers can provide on-line reviews indiscriminately. Within the service sector and particularly in hospitality, these directories and reviews are a key part of marketing and it is important that customers feel that you have a vested interest in their success whatever that may be.
Are you doing your best to truly inform you client’s? Are you making the effort to help them in best possible way in relation to their needs and keeping informed so that you can continuously add value? In this case, that was not my experience. This is relevant if you are a business owner, self employed or an employee. Make the effort to be as informed as you can and give the best advice that you possibly can.