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Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy

Yes, I want you to stay at Well House Manor - but only if you'll enjoy it; I really don't want to sell rooms to people who won't overall be happy with what they have bought - not only would we end up with a disappointed customer, but we also risk bad reviews. We risk damage being done ("room was trashed") that costs far more that the value of the booking to put right, and we risk our staff being put into difficult situations.

About half an hour ago, I took a phone call, and turned down a booking for a room for tomorrow night. And I feel good about it. We have plenty of availability, so why don't I want Mr E and his girl friend?




It all started two days ago. A phone call at a quarter past 10 at night asking to make a one night booking for the New Year, extended during the call to ask for the previous night, and specifically asking for the best room with a Bath. Well, the opinion on "best" varies but Mr E took a look at the web site and said he required bedroom 3. Slight problem ... it's already allocated "but I can check for you first thing in the morning as it may well be moveable". I offer to call him back, but "no - I'll call you at about 10".

Turns out that Mr and Mrs G who are shown for BR3 have been randomly allocated to that room - no preference - so we can easily accommodate Mr E ... but he doesn't call back, and I'm out from around 1 p.m.

The 10 a.m. call comes - to Lisa - soon after I've left, but having been told we can move the rooms around for him, Mr E now wants a discount because he's booking for two nights. Hmmm ... we typically don't do discounts and Lisa refuses, but does say I will call him back and may be able to suggest something.

Back at 5, and I call. A whole series of "engaged" until I eventually get through at 6, but Mr E is out and busy and "will call back in 5 minutes when I get home".

Two hours later (!) and he calls. "Sorry - had to go to hospital to get my ankle replastered as I fell over; that's why I need a bath". And he goes on to ask how far we are from somewhere nice to eat (200 yards doesn't phase him, even with the ankle), and what time is checkin and can we have the room earlier?

I offer him the first night at Delegate rate and te second at full rate - saving him 20 pounds, but he explains how their money is very tight and pitches in with an offer a further 20 pounds lower. I decline to accept, and suggest he might feel rather happier spending his money actually staying - for a little less money - at one of the local pubs, and I quote a couple of names. However, after blustering at me for a bit, he decides that he'll go ahead and book with us at the price I gave him, and I start to enter it into the system.

When we get to "Credit or Debit card number to guarantee the room", he blusters again - "I'll have to hobble downstairs to get that - I'll call you backin five minutes", and I say that's fine, but please don't leave it much longer as the booking system will time out. That was at aroud 20:00 yesterday, foran arrival today.

At a quarter past one this afternoon, Mr E is on the phone again. "We're not going to be able to make it today, but could I book for just tomorrow night please". And I'm afraid I told him that I didn't want his booking ... I think he was rather put out ... but I am happy with my decision.




We review cases like this, carefully. Is there something we should be offering but don't? Why was Mr E so persistant in wanting to stay with us? How did the apparent medical problems match up with the 200 yard walk into town? Why had he chosen Melksham?

It could be that he - or more likely his girlfriend - saw us on "Four in a Bed", and she said she'd go away for the New Year with him if they stayed with us; not a very likely explanation, but can you do better? It could be that he's already banned from most of the other places in Melksham, I supposed, or that he's already put them off and they refuse to take his booking too. It could be that someone has a grouch against us, and whilst I do know of one, the calls weren't in his pattern and the telephone number wasn't withheld. We will probably never know; I hesitate to say "will never hear again" but then I didn't expect to hear back, several times, during the enquiry procedure - it will be interesting if he turns up on our doorstep tomorrow, for example.

I remain of the view that Mr E and Ms X are going to be far better suited to staying elsewhere - I can (and did) name a couple of good pubs with rooms within a short distance of here, where alcohol will be on tap into the wee hours, staff around to help Ms X get him back to the room after the New Year celebrations, and indeed they'll be around all the time to meet all of his requirements.

A Happy New Year then to Mr E, Ms X, Mr and Mrs G, and all of our team too. May every one of you enjoy it because you'll be in a great place for you to celebrate the coming of 2014




Update - 31st December ... Five out of five other hoteliers who have commented on this article - all good friends with whom we openly share and discuss our businesses across the UK - say that they too would have turned down the booking even at full price. I'm relieved that my reaction to the chain of events in the 'booking' procedure didn't lead me to irrationally turn someone away...
(written 2013-12-30, updated 2014-01-03)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G501 - Well House Consultants - Customer Service
  [4078] Train works for me! - (2013-05-02)
  [4077] Palty or Parliamentary? - (2013-04-30)
  [3835] The Information age - not yet truly with us? - (2012-08-12)
  [3808] Can you put names to faces? - (2012-07-19)
  [3378] New product - ensuring that supply matches demand - (2011-08-03)
  [3294] It's not just about the jam in the sandwich - (2011-05-19)
  [3271] The importance of feedback - (2011-04-30)
  [3103] Thank you - and Happy Christmas - (2010-12-24)
  [3073] Customer Service - the boundary - (2010-11-27)
  [2961] Initial handling of phone calls and walk in visitors - (2010-09-19)
  [2880] Getting in touch - Please allow me to see you when you are online - (2010-07-21)
  [2650] Getting a phone line changed ... - (2010-02-25)
  [2530] Taking a knock over Santa - (2009-12-08)
  [2258] Questions I have been asked on answering the phone - (2009-06-26)
  [2236] Alumni - revisiting and supporting the old University - (2009-06-13)
  [2124] Building down expectations - (2009-04-09)
  [2102] What do people think of our Apache httpd / Tomcat course? - (2009-03-24)
  [2049] Why Choose Well House Consultants for your course? - (2009-02-20)
  [2015] Service Excellence Awards - (2009-01-30)
  [1991] Rules for a King - (2009-01-13)
  [1985] Learning to program as a part of your job - (2009-01-10)
  [1835] 23:30 bookings and midnight checkins - (2008-10-12)
  [1637] Providing exceptional service - and carrying on doing so. - (2008-05-09)
  [1606] Sheep Shearers, Marathon Runners and Ocean Sailors - (2008-04-09)
  [1516] Pictures you can use - for free - from our library - (2008-01-23)
  [1446] An answer to a student asking 'Help' - (2007-11-27)
  [1434] Market survey - to learn, to prove a point, or to sell your product? - (2007-11-17)
  [1319] Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business - (2007-08-25)
  [1262] Keep in touch with PHP, Perl, Python and old friends too - (2007-07-09)
  [1046] Bounce, bounce, bounce - (2007-01-20)
  [1007] Friends and family - (2006-12-25)
  [966] CSL, KISS and RTFM - (2006-12-05)
  [961] Products that our customers want more of - (2006-12-03)
  [944] Just ******* Google it - (2006-11-25)
  [852] Eventful evening - a lesson in looking after contacts - (2006-09-02)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [725] Better communication - (2006-05-19)
  [717] A customer service company - (2006-05-11)
  [650] A person of few words - (2006-03-18)
  [628] Active Learning - (2006-02-28)
  [621] And the staff put the icing on the cake - (2006-02-23)
  [609] Been on a course, but still not got it? - (2006-02-16)
  [569] Instructions for bright people - (2006-01-19)
  [566] May all your screw-ups be big ones - (2006-01-16)
  [552] Keeping Customers Informed - (2006-01-02)
  [482] Different ways of selling - (2005-11-01)
  [440] Upgrade! - (2005-09-09)
  [393] Trainer answers phone - (2005-07-28)
  [350] Want to be one better - (2005-06-17)
  [327] How far should our support go - (2005-05-28)
  [265] Business practise, 2005 style - (2005-04-03)
  [233] Giving customers best value - (2005-03-02)
  [195] Customer service - examples to warn us - (2005-01-30)
  [189] Tuesdays and Fridays - (2005-01-25)
  [150] Confession - (2004-12-13)
  [126] Feedback shows the tip of an iceberg - (2004-11-22)
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M102 - Well House Manor - booking system
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  [4144] Getting the best hotel rates - customer and hotelier viewpoints - (2013-07-27)
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  [4122] Well House - booking through agents - (2013-06-23)
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  [3932] River nearly bursting its banks in Melksham - (2012-11-23)
  [3825] Well House Manor - direct hotel bookings help us improve the customer experience - (2012-08-04)
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  [2705] Hotel booking in Melksham made easy! - (2010-04-03)
  [2436] Melksham Hotel Rooms - pictures - (2009-10-04)
  [2403] Hotel Booking Scam / Cost of calls to 070 numbers - (2009-09-12)
  [2377] Wiltshire / Melksham Weddings - guest accommodation - (2009-08-26)
  [1907] Melksham Hotel Rates - (2008-11-25)
  [1815] Hotel Guest Surveys - (2008-09-28)
  [1554] Online hotel reservations - Melksham, Wiltshire (near Bath) - (2008-02-24)
  [1311] What do people look for on a hotel web site? - (2007-08-20)
  [1084] Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events - (2007-02-17)
  [864] Add to shopping cart - NO VACANCIES sign - (2006-09-13)

M444 - Well House Manor - Four in a Bed
  [4474] Effect on external factors on traffic to our web sites - an update - (2015-04-26)
  [4468] Four in a Bed - most popular answers - (2015-03-31)
  [4241] Four in a Bed - the story continues - (2014-01-27)
  [4204] With the Shpigs and Donkeys - (2013-11-10)
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  [3972] Four in a Bed - comment on results - (2013-01-11)
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M400 - Well House Manor - The Hospitality Business
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  [1877] Guests doing a bunk? - (2008-11-09)
  [1792] All the pieces fall into place - hotel and courses - (2008-09-10)
  [1622] An extra step - victory from defeat - (2008-04-25)
  [1548] Hotelympia - show report - the lighter side - (2008-02-21)
  [1445] Looking after you Christmas Customer Crowds - (2007-11-26)
  [1422] Wiltshire - speaker / after dinner talker offer - (2007-11-05)
  [1421] Castle Lodge Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - (2007-11-04)
  [1284] An update on the West Wilts show ... - (2007-07-30)
  [1248] How NOT to oversell a hotel - (2007-06-27)
  [1180] Conjugation - (2007-05-08)
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  [1122] Hotel - online feedback forms compared - (2007-03-30)
  [1108] Express service - (2007-03-14)
  [1048] Getting rid of people - hotel techniques - (2007-01-21)
  [1002] Meet the neighbours - (2006-12-20)
  [988] You should think you're first in a hotel room - (2006-12-15)
  [922] Staying at your own hotel - (2006-11-12)
  [884] Drive time - (2006-10-02)
  [774] Bed and Breakfast, or Hotel? - (2006-06-22)


Back to
Well House Consultants - Public Training Course times for 2014
Previous and next
or
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Open for the new year - Imber
Some other Articles
Using Python to analyse last years forum logs. Good coding practise discussion.
Sharing my personal best of 2013
Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014
Open for the new year - Imber
Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy
Well House Consultants - Public Training Course times for 2014
Well House Consultants - course prices for 2014
Thin end of the wedge - plan to be thicker in 2014
Mallory Place, The Spa, Wellington Drive, Melksham - a Christmas present for you
Happy Christmas from the Well House Manor team
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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