Showing posts from March, 2009

Praise for Good Customer Service

After my last couple of posts about the lack of customer service, including from caterers, it was refreshing to spend time with Mike, the owner of TableRock Grill & Brew Pub. I have clients in town from California who have chosen TableRock to provide the catering for their August wedding. A couple of months ago I gave the bride a list of caterers' web sites. After looking at menus, she e-mailed 5 caterers to set up appointments. Mike was the only one to respond. In talking with him, he said the others are surely not too busy to need the business. His business is down and he is sure theirs is too.

We met yesterday so the couple could meet Mike and share their ideas. I was impressed with Mike's desire to serve them and help them have a successful wedding. He is bringing 5 people; they will handle rental of tables, chairs, and linens and they will set things up and take them down rather than leaving after a couple of hours, as many caterers do. They will cut the wedding cake…

More Customer Service Rants

It seems the economy has had a negative impact, not just on the bottom line, but on customer service as well. Businesses are shortsightedly trying to save dimes at the expense of dollars, as experienced this past week. My last rant was about caterers; this one is about hotels.

I managed a two-day conference for nearly 200 attendees held at a local hotel. The problems began before the event with the front desk employees, some of whom were apparently not trained in how to make a reservation. When attendees called to reserve a room, some employees transferred the calls to a toll-free number at a national call center rather than handling them locally. The call center had no information about our conference, the special rate we were receiving, or those individuals we were paying for (about 20), so they charged credit cards. Just try to get the charge reversed. That was like pulling teeth. One person called several times and insisted to the desk clerks that they make his reservation locall…

Wedding Planning Seminar and New Product

Last weekend a local rental center held their second annual wedding planning seminar. They invited businesses that regularly rent from them to set up displays. They also invited two wedding decorators and me to speak on the various aspects of the wedding planning process. About 15 tablescapes were set up to showcase the rental center's linens, chairs, and centerpiece items.

Eleven caterers were present, 10 of whom offered food samples! Two cake bakers and a chocolate fountain were also present. It was a great opportunity to network with the participating vendors and to meet a couple of new caterers. One caterer was offering a new product, wedding cake truffles, which were delicious. The one I tried was carrot cake covered in chocolate.

The attendance was small, but those who did attend had the opportunity to visit with vendors in an unhurried manner, to get some great decorating ideas, and to narrow their choice of caterers.

Everyone Needs to Feel Appreciated

We are planning a 40th birthday party for a single gentleman. That may not seem unusual, but this gentleman has never had a birthday party before. How many of us can say that we reached adulthood, much less a 40th birthday, without having anyone want to help us celebrate our special day, even once. The birthday guy was raised by an alcoholic mother in a single-parent home. There were years when his mother didn't even remember his or his sisters' birthdays, much less plan a celebration.

Chances are you know someone who comes from a difficult background and who may have rarely had the opportunity to be the guest of honor at a birthday celebration. Maybe it is an elderly person living alone. Or perhaps you know an older couple who haven't celebrated their anniversary in years. Maybe your children have friends who live in difficult circumstances and you can be a beacon of light and stability in their lives. If we take time to look around, we will find many people who need som…