This is from the autobiography of Four Seasons founder Isadore Sharp, “Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy.” Four Seasons has an unparalleled reputation for customer service.
Next up [in our daily review] is a review of the previous day’s mistakes in something we call the Glitch Report. Every department in the hotel is represented at the morning meeting, and each has a printout detailing what has gone wrong and what steps may already have been taken to correct course. The Glitch Report ensures that every hotel department knows what happened and which guest it affected.
We might have missed a guest with something as simple as turndown service, and everybody listens to the department head responsible as he or she articulates what went wrong. That person will go to the root cause of the problem and tell everyone what will be done to fix it in that guest’s eyes. Whatever the issue, making it right starts with a sincere apology. It can also mean trying to do something else for them later on in their visit. It can mean an amenity such as flowers or fresh fruit skewers or a bottle of wine. It could mean an appropriate adjustment or consideration on their bill. For each guest, we strive to find the right approach in the apology.
Sharp added this in an interview with Christopher Elliott: “What’s important with a glitch is not the error – it’s the recovery. Guests remember how they were treated and the outcomes, and we always strive to ensure that the outcomes are positive.”
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