Upcoming ACOM Event Calendar

April 2008

Idea Network
April 17, 2008
1:00 PM EDT
Hotel / Center Track: How to Deal with Outside Vendors
CVB Track: Community Outreach and Special Events Planning

May 2008

May 15, 2008
1:00 PM EDT
How to Deal with Difficult Conversations / Complaints

June 2008

2008 Summer Education Conference
June 26-28, 2008
Chicago, Illinois
Palmer House Hilton

July 2008

Idea Network
July 17, 2008
1:00 PM EDT
Hotel / Center Track: Procedures from Start to Finish for CSMs
CVB Track: Procedures from Start to Finish for CSMs

August 2008

August 21, 2008
1:00 PM EDT
Revenue Management

September 2008

Idea Network
September 18, 2008
1:00 PM EDT
Hotel / Center Track: Emergency Management
CVB Track: Housing Updates

October 2008

October 16, 2008
1:00 PM EDT
APEX Update

November 2008

Idea Network
November 20, 2008
1:00 PM EST
All Tracks: Discussion on Industry Article

January 2009

2009 Annual Conference
January 9-11, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana
Westin New Orleans

A special thank you to the Annual Conference Sponsors:

Don’t miss the opportunity to have your name listed above. Please check out all of the sponsorship opportunities available. If you have any questions or are interested in sponsoring ACOM, please contact ACOM Headquarters.

Proactive in Action
(Customer Service Training in Colorado)

By Kelly J. Watkins, MBA

Want to communicate a positive impression to your customers? Try being proactive. During a speaking trip, I experienced “proactive” in action. While speaking at a hospitality conference sponsored by the Colorado Restaurant Association, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Denver North Coliseum.

The morning after my stay, I checked out and stored my luggage.
The regular shuttle driver was unavailable. Ginger, at the front desk, volunteered to take me to the conference. “Volunteered” in this case is synonymous with “proactive.” Ginger even warmed up the van.

It turned out the regular driver (Sorry, I forgot to ask his name; let’s call him “Fred.”) returned by the time I was ready to leave. So, “Fred” took me, instead. Still, Ginger had volunteered to leave her busy front desk and brave the cold, snowy morning even when it wasn’t in her job description.

Promptly at 4:00 p.m., Jason, a different driver, picked me up at the conference. Jason had brought my luggage. He assumed I was going to the airport and wanted to save me an extra trip to the hotel to retrieve my luggage.

There was only one catch. I wasn’t going to the airport. I was returning to the hotel. Jason cheerfully returned my luggage to storage.

What was his risk in being proactive? Zero. Zilch. The worst thing that could’ve happened was that I didn’t need my luggage. Guess what? The “worst thing” happened, and it was no big deal. On the contrary, I was impressed. I was even more impressed when Jason offered to drive me to the mall, so I’d have something to do while I waited. Although I declined the offer, it was nice of him to suggest it.

When Michelle, the reservations manager, saw I had returned, she took a moment to chat – even though she was obviously busy. By initiating the conversation, she created rapport. In a mere few minutes, we built a relationship.

When the morning shuttle driver “Fred” passed by, he asked how the conference went. He not only took the time to speak to me, he remembered he’d taken me to the conference earlier.

A little later, Liz (who had registered me the previous evening) walked by. “Still here?” she inquired. When she discovered that I would be waiting awhile longer, she suggested I visit the bar, where they were offering free appetizers. She didn’t stop there. She offered me free drink coupons, which she went out of her way to walk to the front desk to retrieve.

What do Ginger, “Fred,” Jason, Michelle, and Liz have in common? They all took action and did something positive for me, the guest, without being asked. They went beyond the scope of their job description. They were proactive. The result? The guest was impressed!

By Kelly J. Watkins, MBA. Kelly offers Keynotes and Communication Training. For FREE tips, visit: www.keepcustomers.com

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