I just returned from a fabulous vacation in South America. My perfect adventure ended on a curious customer-service note, however.
During my check out from the Hotel Kennedy on the last day of our tour, I was charged 4X the hotel’s list price for the bottled water from my room.
When I explained to the perpetually unhappy front-desk employee that her suggested price was different than the price listed in the room, she said: “Water is expensive in Santiago.” Then she refused to adjust the final hotel bill (even knowing that my travel mates were charged the regular – versus inflated – price for bottled water).
The reason this is curious is because a 4-star hotel chose the value of a few thousand extra Chilean pesos (about 20 USD) over the value of referrals, credibility, and trust – the stuff of fine reputations and healthy bottom lines.
In the end, the Hotel Kennedy did leave a lasting impression. Too bad it was a negative one.
MORAL OF THE STORY: How you say goodbye is just as important as how you say hello. Whether you are leaving a company, ending a relationship, or closing business with a customer, remember that your final words and actions will have an impact that will last long after you part ways.
Recommended Reading: “Leverage Your Unsubscribes,” an article from Media Post‘s Email Insider, calls out the inherent value in your customers’ unsubscribe emails and points to the importance of positive communication when you say goodbye.