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Hotel wake-up calls are tired… (yawn)

When the automated hotel wake-up call arrives in the morning, what does the message say? In my experience, the message often sounds something like this: “Good morning. Today’s weather forecast calls for partly sunny skies, breezy, with a high temperature of 52 degrees. Thank you for choosing the XYZ hotel.”

Some hotels take it a step further and include a marketing message such as: “Why not begin your day with a hot breakfast in the XYZ restaurant on the main level? Our breakfast buffet is priced at only $11.95.”

Either way, 80 percent of guests are frequent travelers and hear the same types of predictable wake-up call messages wherever they go. On rare occasions, guests will receive a personal wake up call from an engaged employee who has a bit of enthusiasm in his or her voice. This will make an impression and, in doing so, will become memorable. That’s a good thing in customer service.

Personalized hotel wake-up calls are more, well, personal than automated calls. Even so, they are less common these days as hotels have largely moved to the efficiency of having guests program their own wake-up calls from their guest room phone. In fairness, some guests may even prefer this method for its expediency and accuracy.

So what’s a hotel to do? They want to be memorable and distinguish themselves in the hearts and minds of their guests but it may be impractical or cost-prohibitive to place personalized wake-up calls to every guest.

Consider this sample wake-up call script from the British actor Stephen Fry (Jeeves of Jeeves and Wooster fame): “<discreet cough> Good morning. I’m so sorry to disturb you, but it appears to be morning. Very inconvenient, I agree. I believe it is the rotation of the earth that is to blame.”

Now maybe this script doesn’t fit the style or personality of your hotel. That’s okay. You have to do what works for you and your clientele. Personally, I think most guests of most hotels would laugh out loud at messages like this one. Not only that but they’d have a funny and memorable story to share with the colleagues or customer they meet with later that day!

The French novelist, Colette, said, “Total absence of humor renders life impossible.” I would add that the deliberate inclusion of appropriate humor makes guest experiences memorable.

And, when hotels are trying to distinguish themselves from competitors in a crowded marketplace, memorable beats the alternative!

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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