As an accounting firm coach I travel quite a bit to work face to face with accounting firm owners. As a result, I spend a bit of time in hotels. I like to try different ones and am constantly surprised by what they don’t get right. It also struck me that there are a couple of good learnings for accountants from this. I won’t name the hotels concerned but I have given them my feedback directly and privately.
I checked in early evening and when I got to my room I discovered the following issues:
- The clock by the bed was not working
- One of the lights in the ceiling was not working (If you stay in hotels a bit you’ll understand the significance of this as inevitably most hotel rooms have very few lights)
- The safe was locked.
These are all things that can and should be checked daily as part of the housekeeping service. If I was running a hotel I would have a checklist of things that the housekeeper must check for each and every room he or she services. It might add one or two minutes to the job at most but will ensure experiences like mine will not occur.
In the same room I could not find any information on the hotel’s facilities. It was the first (and last) time I stayed there and in most hotels you find a book or brochure (or perhaps an item on your TV) explaining the facilities of the hotel. When I rang reception the person said “we don’t do that anymore”. I then said OK is there a room service menu? “No we don’t have any food service in this hotel.” Hmm, how very underwhelming, to say the least.
There should have been a process in place to ensure that I was told as part of the check in that there is no food service and given some recommendations as to where to go. Also, the person at reception could have said there is no explanation in the room about the facilities of the hotel so I’ll just take a minute to let you know what we have here.
As I checked in late in the afternoon the young lady at reception asked “is this your first stay with us?” to which I said yes. She then said “welcome” and nothing more. I have two issues with this. First, is it possible that if it was not my first stay there I would not have been welcomed? Surely not. Second, the person checking me in knew it was my first time there but said nothing about the facilities.
I could see a restaurants and bar, but no mention of if it served breakfast, no mention of the gym and no mention of anything else at all. Now I get that these people are not paid a lot and it is not really their fault. It is the fault of the management team for this hotel that they are not training their people properly. A checklist would be helpful.
So what is my point about what accountants can learn here?
Put yourself in the shoes of your clients.
- What is the experience of your first time clients and then ongoing clients?
- Are you really welcoming them to your firm and using a checklist to make sure you cover everything you need to?
- Have a you got a repeatable process in place and standards that must be adhered to by every member of your team that interacts with each new and ongoing client?
If you need some help to make this happen I will be happy to assist.