Tailgate Inspection at Hilton

Topic: Customer Service
Industry: Hospitality
Location: Nashville, TN

“I have a job that was created by Conrad Hilton himself,” bragged the Customer Service rep to guests checking in; “I am here to ensure that any issues you have are resolved quickly and to your satisfaction.” My experience at check-out proved this position to be exactly like what it sounded…nothing more than tailgate inspection. Because the hotel was not certain that the guest experience was definable, repeatable and predictable they had to staff a full-time person to cover for system inadequacies. Take my check-out experience for example. My stay had been relatively pleasing and the room very satisfactory. “May I have a late check-out?” I requested of the front desk so that I had time to finish my presentation. “Certainly,” was the reply. My work now complete up to the room I go to collect my bags and prepare to depart. As I swipe the electronic key the door light flashes red. “Impossible,” I think. Swipe it again with same results. So down from the 7th floor I go to the front desk to get the key reset, where I am informed that the keys automatically shut-off at noon. “When I requested a late check-out it might have been nice to know this so that I wouldn’t waste my time with an unnecessary trip up to the room and back down.” The key was reset and back up I go, only to have the key not work! With two quality escapes now underway I decide to use the house phone on the 7th floor and have the front desk authorize room service who is next door to let me in so that I don’t have to make another trip to the lobby. Room service spoke no English and the front desk spoke no Spanish, so back down to the front desk once again where I now get to stand in the line with new guests checking in. Fifteen minutes have passed and I have not been able to get into the room for my “late check-out.” “Sorry,” is the reply as I am handed once again a recoded room key. Finally able to check-out the last words I hear are , “How was everything and is their anything I can do to help? My job was personally created by Conrad Hilton himself, you know.”

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