Do your client gifts go awry?

by Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC on April 30, 2014

Many companies like to show their appreciation for loyalty by adding extras to their repeat customers’ experience. It’s common in hotels to upgrade their loyal customers with in-room treats. While I never expect these, I appreciate them even if the item isn’t to my taste.

However, it’s rare that these gestures actually backfire. I know this is the exact opposite of the intention of the hotel management, but it can happen.

Thus is was with the 5-star resort where I was staying. This was my third stay, so the hotel provided a small fruit basket in my room at check in. I was delighted to see some of my favorite fruits: a small “hand” of finger bananas, some local oranges, a pear and some apples, which were my least favorite. Since it was late and I wasn’t very hungry, I enjoyed one of the bananas and saved my other favorites for another day.

I spent the next day exploring the town and looked forward to a banana or orange as a snack before dinner. So imagine my disappointment to return to a new fruit bowl replacing the other — this time with only apples! Arrgh!

I asked the housekeeper outside my door if he knew what happened to my previous fruit bowl. He said to check with room service. I didn’t want to make a fuss so didn’t call. I’m guessing their reasoning is that the guest would like a fresh fruit bowl each day, not really understanding that the guest may have been exceptionally happy with the previous fruit selection!

I know it sounds petty — one should be appreciative of any gift. I only point this out in case you provide a gift to your special customers but don’t realize your good intentions may have a less-than-optimal effect. If you do something like this, perhaps include a note saying if they’d like something different to call the marketing manager.

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