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Friday, January 4, 2013

How To Make A 5 Star Boo-Boo

I'd settle for any care at this point.
(Courtesy of

1. When you label yourself "5 Star", there are some expectations. Scratch that, you are supposed to deliver the highest expectations. The label implies you are the top of the heap, the standard of excellence, the ones competitors (secretly) envy and look up to.

I mean, if I claimed to be the fastest runner, and 20 other people down the street could easily beat my time, it would be awfully idiotic for me to still claim that title, right?

2. The hospitality industry is all about service. It's in the label as well - no, not hospital, though I might need to have my blood pressure checked if I have to deal with people who do not seem to understand what it means to be in the service profession and what it entails.

If you work in the lobby of a 5 star hotel, would scowling be an appropriate first impression to make? Similarly, does D come after Y?

3. When you say, "we would like to invite you for coffee at your most convenient time" I take the words at face value.

When I say that "I can meet you on Monday at 2PM" and you reply "I'm busy with a meeting, why don't we meet on Wednesday at 3PM", would it be wrong for me to assume that the phrase "we would like to invite you for coffee at your most convenient time" is actually hollow for you?

4. Now that I have acquiesced to your convenient time, couldn't you be bothered to show up, I don't know, on time, at least? See, if I was meeting someone to apologize for something, I would try to be there well ahead of the appointment, seeing as the scales aren't tipped in my favor even before the meeting has started.

When you show up at 3:10 PM, don't make mention of the fact that you were late, and when I point out that you are late, answer as if one shouldn't make a big fuss over being 10 minutes late, can you blame me for thinking that anything coming out of your mouth will be quite meaningless from this point on?

5. Hearing stock responses, canned phrases and oft-quoted platitudes only adds to the feeling of insincerity that pervades a meeting that can best be described as superficial and necessary for show only.

By your own admission, you cannot compete with the other 5 star hotels in terms of infrastructure, modernity and amenities. It becomes lamentable, then, if in the one category where you can compete - service, and truly listening to your customers - you have also failed.

I really should amend that to ex-customer.


  1. Your generation would have been shocked at mine. We had a concept called Filipino Time where it was understood that we would be a couple of hours late. I guess the call centers had a lot to do with making Filipinos punctual, which is a good thing:)

    1. Filipino time is still alive and well. Sadly. :(