Revisit Guest Service Issues – My Trip from Syracuse to San Juan, Puerto Rico

Earlier this week, we visited guest service and guest satisfaction issues. Yesterday, I traveled from Syracuse to Puerto Rico. Now, I feel it is necessary to bring these issues to our attention again because 1% dissatisfaction may have huge negative impacts on a guest’s experience with the service provider. My experience with Delta Airlines and Caribe Hilton San Juan is a great example.

Like most airlines, I received an e-mail notification from Delta 24 hours before my flight took off. My itinerary required me to make a connection in Atlanta. Surprisingly, I could only check in the flight from Syracuse to Atlanta, but not the flight from Atlanta to San Juan. I called Delta Guest Service right away because I worried if my trip from Atlanta to San Juan was confirmed. I was informed the system was experiencing some technical problems. I might be able to solve the problem by either calling the website support hotline or checking in at the airport. I chose to check in at the airport.

I arrive at San Juan Airport at about 6:30pm. I reserved an ocean view room with two double beds in the Caribe Hilton, which is the CHRIE (Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education) Conference hotel. The check-in process took a lot longer than usual. I was the first in line, but I spent more than 20 minutes waiting for the next available Front Office agent. Finally, Monica greeted me and gave me a warm welcome. She told me the hotel was sold out. So, she would upgrade me to a villa room with a kitchenette, but the bad news was the room was not ready. I waited until 8:15pm, and I got my keys to the room. It took me 10 minutes to find my room because the villa is located very far from the main lobby.

Finally, I found my room after a long day, but I my key did not work. I called for help and waited for another 15 minutes. Luis, a Lost Prevention Officer, came to reprogram my lock. He was able to get me in but failed to issue me new keys. I entered the room. Overall, the room looked nice (Picture 1 to 3), but it had two problems --- (1) it does not have an ocean view, and (2) the microwave had a little left-over food, which made me question how clean the room was (Picture 4). Because I needed a new key and preferred an ocean view room, I went a long way back to the Front Desk. Althia greeted me with a warm smile. She made me two new keys and promised to change an ocean view room for me two days after.

I took me another 10 minutes to go back to my room. To my disappointment, once again, the keys did not work. I called and waited for another 10 minutes until Luis came to open the door for me. This was the last straw. I called Althia and requested a room change the next day. After all the hassles I had been through in this hotel, I was told I could change my room the next day.

I look forward to moving into an ocean view room. I hope Hilton will keep its promise. I will update my status tomorrow in this blog. After sharing these two long stories, my point is --- there could be many good things that Delta and Caribe Hilton did; however, one or two small issues or problems could ruin a guest’s experience. “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” is critical and probably the only way to succeed in the service industry.

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