She Reads South Asia


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My Make India Smile Contest Submission

Call centers have been getting a lot of negative media attention these days and in some cases, rightly so. But for a change I’d like to relate what it was like working in a hotel reservation call center here in the US. It was quite interesting, to say the least. The callers can come up with some pretty tough and sometimes pretty strange requests. Most of us took it in stride and did everything possible to make sure that the guests had a wonderful experience with us, even before they got to the hotel stay itself.

One of my co-workers really got into his job and one would never remember that they had called the 800 number instead of the hotel directly, after he was finished. This particular day he had a caller who wanted to know if there were any hotels (of our brand) in Mumbai. He found that we did and was so animated while giving her all the wonderful details that he clinched the sale. As a matter of fact, after listening to him, I was ready to book a flight to India as soon as possible, since I had been dying to go already.

Well, it was a few days later that his wife told me how impressed she was with how he made the hotel come alive. I looked at her a little confused, as she knew he was one of the top reservationists because of his style of selling. Surely she had heard him talk about so many of our hotels that she’d be tired of listening. But after she went through the types of rooms and amenities (or amemities as he called them), including butler service, six different restaurants, the fact that it was only five minutes from the airport, and (best of all) the wellness center, which has Indian massage and traditional spa therapy, I thought, either she saw the hotel online or he must have printed out the information and read it off to her. She assured me neither was the case.

She then looked at me and said, “you’re not going to believe it but he was so impressed with this particular hotel that he went through all the details from memory, right down to the reservation number!” “The reservation number,” I said. “Why would he give you the reservation number? Oh don’t tell me, you’re going to India?” She started to laugh. “No, but that’s how ingrained the details of this place were for him, he made the reservation last night…in his sleep!” Now that’s a hotel that makes a lasting impression on you, without even having been there. Guaranteed, that’s the one I’ll be staying at when I finally get there. India, here I come!

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