Piero Selvaggio, the chef and owner of the five-star Valentino Restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif., knows a thing or two about customer service. His restaurant has survived – and thrived – for 42 years, so anyone in a customer-service business should take notice when he speaks.
In a blog item recently, Selvaggio took on the ridiculous notion held by some that customer service is no longer as important as things such as having an SEO-friendly website or effective email marketing.
“I don’t mean to discredit those efforts,” he wrote, “but the reality is this: customer service, when extraordinary, can be the one factor that can launch your success story and float your business through the hardest of times.”
Amen to that. For almost any service-oriented business, the chief goal ought to be making each guest feel like he or she is a VIP. At LRS, our business has been built around helping our customers accomplish that.
Two customers recently shared their stories of how they’ve used our technology to raise the bar for exceptional customer service:
At Kura Door, Clients Feel Important at All Times
The Kura Door is the destination for Salt Lake City residents and guests looking to be pampered, relaxed and rejuvenated. The 7,000-square-foot holistic Japanese spa is all about maintaining pristine aesthetics and attending to client needs quickly.
When guests arrive for their treatments, they expect their spa attendant to greet them immediately. But guests rarely arrive at their appointment time on the dot, which means wasted time that could be used keeping things cleaned up and stocked.
The solution for The Kura Door was a staff paging system from LRS. Spa attendants can use their downtime stocking snacks and towels or maintaining pristine spa aesthetics. When clients check in for a spa appointment, the front desk pages the attendant assigned to them. Usually, attendants can get there within 30 seconds.
Spa director Sara Vanderhoof says the system has allowed The Kura Door to maintain exceptional customer service while maximizing staff efforts. She says the efficiency gains actually helped reduce labor costs.
“The paging system helps us make every client feel like they are the first and the last guest we ever have,” Vanderhoof says.
Personalized Service in the Star Alliance Passenger Lounge
Anastasia Jenkins faces a tough challenge as regional manager for the Star Alliance passenger lounge at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): managing a crowd of 300-400 club-level airline passengers during peak hours with no more than five staffers – and making each guest feel special.
Her staff has pulled it off, thanks to technology.
The lounge incorporated an LRS push-for-service paging system for its shower area.
Shower stalls are cleaned and the doors locked after each use, meaning a janitor must be available at all times. With a push-button paging system, the janitor can complete other tasks while the showers aren’t in use.
A simple button on a lobby-area table allows passengers to request a shower. A message is immediately sent to the janitor, who can respond within a minute to unlock the shower door. It’s that kind of one‑on‑one service that Jenkins and her staff want to provide.
Superior Customer Service and Efficiency Through Technology
In Star Alliance’s first-class dining area, guests give their orders to a first-class agent, who gets the order to the kitchen. When the food is ready, the kitchen sends a digital message to a supervisor, who can ensure the meal is delivered hot and fresh.
That allows the kitchen staff to focus on preparing food, and it keeps the first-class agent in the first-class lounge and attending to passenger needs.
The net result: Reduced staffing costs while still being able to deliver a first-class customer experience, Jenkins says.
“The main thing it does for us is it allows us to cross‑utilize our staff, which in turn helps us to stay within budget,” she says. “This is utilizing all the staff we have, and it’s really cost‑effective.”
In both cases, the businesses were able to leverage technology, primarily for the benefit of the guest experience but also to achieve efficiency gains. We’re pretty sure Chef Selvaggio would agree with their approach on both counts.
Find Out More About New Technologies Enhance the Customer Experience
Complete the form below to download the free eBook, The Value from Technology, for more detail about how using technology can improve the guest experience while making you more efficient.
Jason Barge is a marketing manager at LRS and an expert in communications for the hospitality industry.