I recently returned from a visit with family in Colorado Springs. One of the fun things we did was spend an afternoon at the Broadmoor Hotel. This local landmark has maintained a five-star rating for well over 60 years. Clearly, excellent customer service was at the top of their priority list. Here are a few lessons I took away.
1. Treat everyone as important. With one exception, every single staff member we encountered – and there were a lot of staff members – made eye contact and greeted us. They couldn’t tell whether we were eating at the reasonably priced pub or staying at one of the exclusive suites. While I’m fairly sure the shop clerks pegged us as window-shoppers, it didn’t seem to matter. They still offered friendly conversation, advice, and ice cream samples. The consistent message was that we were welcome and valued.
2. Pay attention to details. Everything about the hotel seemed intentionally designed for customer comfort, from customized linen napkins, wallpaper and carpet to loaner umbrellas at the conference center to complementary cheese and crackers while waiting for our food to be delivered. The grounds showed a similar level of attention. We saw crews laying out plants according to a color-coded plan that would result in a gorgeous array of gardens and flower pots.
3. Set and maintain goals. The hotel takes a lot of pride in its high standards. I had the feeling that somewhere there was a manager who wakes up in the middle of the night thinking, “we are NOT going to loose the five-star rating on my watch.” Further, it appeared that all the employees were committed to that goal.
3. Keep improving. Even though the hotel has been in existence for a long time, there were a number of remodeling projects and new facilities being developed. I’m not sure how one attains such an impressive list of awards and recognition, but it’s clear that the Broadmoor isn’t resting on its laurels. My impression was that repeat customers would find a good mix of favorite amenities and new options to explore.
The message I took from our visit was clear: the Broadmoor cares about what it does, and does it well. As we in the MnSCU system work to meet the commitments of our strategic framework, what can we do to help our stakeholders feel like valued customers of a five-star organization?
Dee Anne Bonebright