I recently spent the night in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. When I arrived, I could tell by the friendly faces and fast moving check-in lines that they have been listening to the Voice of the Customer. But the big surprise came at 5 a.m. the next day. I like having a back-up to my alarm and always ask for a wake-up call. When the phone rang the next morning I lifted the receiver anticipating the yip-yak of some computer generated voice alerting me that it’s time to get moving. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by a real person.”Hello Mrs. Clark, This is your 5 a.m. wake-up call.” I immediately responded “Thank you” and received a “You’re welcome, I hope you enjoy your day in Chicago.” I smiled. How very nice, I thought. They even reminded me which city I woke up in. (Those of you who travel a lot can appreciate this.)

It is funny how such a small gesture can make a big difference. Just the fact that I am talking about it four days later lets you know what an impression it made (net promoter score will be high on this one). I wonder if somewhere along the way in our zeal to cut cost and automate everything that we’ve lost the personal touch that makes us human. Maybe it’s time we revisit the Voice of the Customer and get “Back to Basics.”

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