My Positive Customer Experience at the Radisson

March 26, 2008 at 1:53 pm 8 comments

Just a quick post to share my experience at the Radisson in downtown Minneapolis. I’m feeling very positive about this hotel right now, in spite of two problems in the last 24 hours. The way the Radisson staff (1) quickly dealt with the problems, and (2) otherwise exceeded my expectations in small but meaningful ways has contributed to my satisfaction as a guest.

First, the problems:

  • PROBLEM 1: CHECKED IN TO AN OCCUPIED ROOM: After checking in, I made may up to the room. It was rather dark inside, and very clean, so it took me a minute to notice that there was a suitcase in the corner and a laptop on the desk. Uh-oh.
  • HOW IT WAS HANDLED: I made my way back downstairs. The person who had just checked me in (and also spent a few minutes reviewing the skyway map, and giving me the best route to the convention center) was occupied with a customer. The other desk clerk quickly booked me into a new room, apologizing profusely and (to my ear) sincerely. She asked if I would accept a free breakfast from the Radisson for my trouble, and gave me a very nice looking gift certificate to the excellent “Firelake” restaurant in the lobby.
  • THE RESULT: I felt happy, and taken care of. The way the situation was handled exceeded my expectations, which have been lowered by previous experiences at hotels in which check-in problems were not only NOT apologized for, but I was left feeling like I WAS THE PROBLEM. (Marriott, I’m talking to you. Twice!) Note to hotels: don’t shoot the messenger. Buy him breakfast.

  • PROBLEM #2: The business center computer ate my credit card. Yup, I actually had to feed my credit card in to use the computer. Upon sucking in my card, the computer promptly logged in, and then froze.
  • HOW IT WAS HANDLED: There were a number of signs posted that said “In case of emergency, dial 55″. I wasn’t sure if this was an emergency, but decided that it was close enough (I wasn’t dialing 911 after all.) I dialed and the phone was picked up immediately. The customer service agent said, “we’ll have an engineer come up immediately.” In 30 seconds flat, the engineer was there. He had my card out in 10 seconds, apologizing all the while.
  • THE RESULT: I was amazed at how quickly the problem was solved, and felt relieved and thankful that my afternoon did not go down the drain while I tried to deal with the situation. I’ve had very bad experiences with almost every business center I’ve ever used in a hotel–and they usually charge through the nose for the privilege of wasting my time. My good feeling at the quick response was heightened, as I logged in to another PC and quickly printed out my pages to discover that…wait for it… there was no charge, save an .08 cents printing charge (penny a page?). No charge for time on the computer. Again, my expectations were far exceeded.

A few other nice perks that have exceeded my expectations and enhanced my experience at the hotel:

  • They have Sleep number beds. I’ve been thinking about buying one. Now I get to try it out for a few nights!

  • Bottled waters in the room–free! I’ve always hated the way you get into a hotel after a long flight, parched like you just spent 40 days in the desert, and they try to charge you for the big bottle of water sitting out on the table. Well done Radisson!
  • Free wireless and wired internet in the room. None of that $10/day crap!
  • Huge, lit shaving mirror in the bathroom. Love these, and rarely see them in hotels.

These “little” touches help create an overall customer experience that also generates a valuable “background hum of satisfaction”. That “hum” probably makes customers a little less upset when something does go wrong–especially when the staff is so adept and empowered to address problems immediately.

Well done Radisson!

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8 Comments

  • 1. rich  |  March 26, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    that’s nice that you don’t have to pay for your hotel wifi. my hotel doesn’t have wifi at all in the rooms, so i’m actually paying for my wifi from the hotel across the street! i’m also bummed that we don’t have free wifi in the entire convention center. there are hotspots, but if you want wifi elsewhere, you need to pay for it.

  • 2. Peter Bromberg  |  March 26, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Rich, there’s also free wifi at the little sandwich place (forget the name) across from the radisson on the skywalk level. Lot’s of booths and tables with privacy for working or checking email. If you’re right across the street from the Radisson it should be easily accessible for you. :-)

  • 3. Anonymous  |  March 26, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Firelake Restaurant at 31 S.7th Street has a comfortable bar with free Wi-Fi and good snacks.

  • 4. Janie L. Hermann  |  March 27, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Makes me want to switch hotels! I am ticked to be paying my $9.95 a day for wifi. That is a practice that needs to end and end NOW. It always amazes me that the budget hotels can give you free wifi but not the pricier ones.

  • 5. Infomancy  |  March 27, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Sheesh…get a little Movers and Shakers award and suddenly you get the VIP treatment! =)

    Always nice to hear about good customer service.

  • 6. Linda  |  March 28, 2008 at 10:54 am

    That sounds like a very nice customer experience.. have a great time at PLA….hope to hear more of your experiences at PLA.

  • 7. Amy  |  March 31, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    The restaurant in the lobby was great, too. I had very low expectations for a hotel restaurant but I actually chose to eat there several times because it was just that good! Got to disagree about the sleep number bed though . . . I didn’t really like the feeling of it deflating around me. I’m sinking, sinking, mmmmpphmm

  • 8. Anonymous  |  April 11, 2008 at 12:01 am

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