How fortunate - the odd remaining space at the Garden centre appeared to be one right outside the main door - as we had come to collect a bulky item. But as we pulled into it, we noticed it said "reserved for director". Hmm - a sign points towards the overflow car park and we head off down that tarmaced road that turns into a stony, dusty track.
"Staff car park ONLY" says that opening on the right, with lines of cars behind it - but we carry on along the track to a more remote spot which is clearly in regular use, judging by the one-way-only back gate that's provided (one of those dreadful enclosed turnstiles to make SURE it's only used for in not out) to get into the back of the garden centre.
"Customer Service" says the counter just behind the pay desks at the Garden Centre, and having come along to collect that bulky item - a composting cone which had been ordered and paid for on line, that was the natural desk to go to.
"Oh no - you have to go to reception for that" says the young lady on the counter. And upon further quizzing her, we learn where we can find the reception desk. "Over there ...", pointing up a passageway.
The first unlabelled desk up the passageway is guarded by a formidable lady who tells us that it's NOT reception (I think it was the garden furniture sales desk) as so we explore onwards.
"Is this reception?" I ask the kindly looking lady as the desk a few yards from the main entrance, and I am assured that it is. And Yay! we're there. "We have come to collect this cone" I say handing her the sheet of paper. "You need to go to Customer Service"
she tells us ...
That's not the end of the story either, but I think I've said enough to make my point!
And I look at such things and try to learn from them for our own customer facing business. A couple of our mantra, confirmed by the garden centre story ...
• Customer parking is a priority over staff parking
• If a customer asks ANY member of staff, that member of staff should take care of the customer him/herself, or if passing they need to pass the customer on to a more appropriate team member they should do so personally.
And on that basis, while I was writing this short article, I have given assistance in using the coffee machine, checked out two guests, and given directions to the Bowerhill
industrial area of Melksham, to which we are the nearest hotel
P.S. We got our composting cone after dealing with five more people. I wonder if it would have been easier at any of the other garden centres - perhaps we should try one of them next time? (written 2008-06-10)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesM401 - Well House Manor - Seeing how others do it 
Differing tastes - (2004-08-17) 
Crazy Day-sies - (2005-12-02) 
If its Sunday, it must be the Norland - (2006-02-23) 
The on line booking experience - (2006-04-21) 
Extremes costs of getting on line - (2006-04-25) 
Room for Octopuses - (2006-05-08) 
New Tape Librarian - (2006-05-28) 
CSL, KISS and RTFM - (2006-12-05) 
Well House Manor and Beechfield House, Hotels, Melksham - (2006-12-29) 
The Wheatsheaf 2, The Bell 0 - (2007-01-09) 
The Psyche is all wrong. - (2007-02-24) 
Arrival and Departure experiences - another hotel - (2007-05-26) 
Work and play at Well House Manor - Football and Shell Shortcuts - (2007-08-02) 
Plastic or China - (2007-08-12) 
Kasteel Elsloo - Michelin rated hotel. - (2007-09-05) 
Wireless Internet Access at hotels - an update and some pitfalls - (2007-09-12) 
Match the Bedroom to the Hotel - (2007-09-17) 
Crystal Ball - How long do I need to be online? - (2007-09-18) 
Maidenhead Coffee Challenge - (2007-10-02) 
Away or home - which do I prefer? - (2007-10-25) 
The little gestures that can really count - (2007-10-27) 
From Sunday to Monday, from Melksham to the Balkans - (2007-12-03) 
The wrong way to put up prices - (2007-12-05) 
Just one thing let the service down - but that is my memory - (2008-01-31) 
New bathing idea for hotels from Hotelympia - (2008-02-20) 
Comparing hotels - as a guest and from the proprietors view - (2008-04-01) 
Lindors Hotel, near St. Briavels, Wye Valley - (2008-08-18) 
Quietly putting prices up - (2008-12-02) 
Launch of Melksham Food and Drink Festival - (2009-01-24) 
Hire Car, from Atlanta Airport - (2009-03-27) 
Call in the professionals! - (2009-04-12) 
A new place in pictures - (2009-07-28) 
Floor to ceiling - (2009-07-30) 
Sanity checking the price, and selling up to increase income - (2009-09-21) 
Not your cup of tea? - (2009-10-08) 
Monday night, Tuesday night - (2009-11-13) 
Twenty Questions - (2010-07-24) 
Feeding the Grockles - (2010-08-09) 
Longhope Hotel - (2010-11-16) 
Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way - (2011-06-25) 
Well House Manor hotel, Melksham - recommended to you by our customers - (2011-07-23) 
Eyes Wide Open - (2012-06-06) 
Some traps it's so easy to fall into in designing your web site - (2012-06-23) 
Should hotel staff sit on the toilet in the customer bedrooms? - (2012-07-02) 
The Xxxxx Guest House in Xxxxxxxxxxx - my stay reviewed - (2012-10-20) 
National TV - Melksham - 9th January 2013, Pre-alert. - (2012-12-27) 
Comparing four VERY different places to stay - (2013-01-11) 
Being an amateur hotel inspector helps me run a professional hotel - (2013-01-14) 
The highs and lows of customer service - Cheltenham - (2013-04-03) 
Pushing down the advertised price, pushing up the total price charged. - (2013-05-08) 
A reminder of why we opened Well House Manor for our customers - (2013-05-17) 
More things to make sure that we do NOT do ... - (2013-05-18) 
What might you find at a tiny bed and breakfast? - (2013-06-03) 
Setting and publishing your hours to suit your customer base - (2013-09-18) 
It always happens to me when I'm in Borehamwood! - (2014-03-06) 
Making a personal gain from a more expensive business hotel stay - (2014-04-02) 
Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable? - (2014-11-20) 
Taking my life in my hands in Swansea - (2014-12-11) 
A long and disappointing evening - (2014-12-30) 
Seventh stay away this year - and it's still only February! - (2015-02-25)
Some other Articles
A warm welcome for visitors from the USAComparing Objects in C++What a lot of files! (C++ / Polymorphism demo)Spam Filters ... are working!The Composting Cone ChallengeCompiling C programs with gcc - an overviewDynamic Memory Allocation in CWhat are Unions (C programming)Talk on TransWilts train service to Green PartyChecking server performance for PHP generated pages