Service levels in a turbulent time

We are all fully aware of the endless mandates and constraints being levied upon every enterprise, especially those in the service and travel industries; however, service to customers is more important—yet lacking—than ever before. 

Recently, we were fortunate enough to travel to one of our favourite locations. This is a spot that, as a family, we have travelled to seven time previous. While we were well prepared for accommodating certain limitations and safety requirements, we did not expect the abject loss of service or lack of willingness to be helpful, at all, by staff members. In fact, being as this location had always far exceeded expectations, we didn’t mind having to pay a little more as times have been tough on the service industry. By turn, I had expected to learn from their long history of leadership and take some nuggets back for my own practice. 

It’s always the little details that matter most

In the past, a coffee and water service were freely available. Part of the stay. A little something you need not fret about.

For this trip, however, the coffee service was removed, placed behind the counter and an additional, unexpected cost of $5 per cup of coffee was added. 

Water service too was removed. The fountains were blocked or closed, no access to water by the pool, beach, or lounge chairs. In utilizing our own reusable water bottle there was no place to fill it other than in the bathroom—yuk. 

On one particular occasion, having left my water bottle in the room, I approached the pool bar for a cup of water, no ice, please. Although there were no other patrons in line, the response was frightening. I was provided a small, dixie-sized cup with a huff. When I asked for a large cup as I was parched, I was told, and I quote, “that is all that is available for the complimentary water”.

Excuse me, what? Complimentary water? 

When I asked where I was supposed to access water when the fountains were all closed, there were no carafes being laid out, the bartender shrugged. When I asked for a refill, I was greeted with outright hostility and made to wait, whereby my small empty water cup was tossed into the trash and new small cup was banged down on the counter after a significant wait.

While I will refrain from the environmental damage of all this extra wastage and how reusable cups are certainly more conscientious of our footprint, it really was the attitude which took me aback.

Where was the leadership excellence I had become accustomed to?

Where had the quality of service gone?

Neither of these should have been impacted by the restrains of the pandemic. Certainly, the employees did not seem engaged. Which lead me to question the overall culture of where I had chosen to spend my money.

Will this have an impact on my future decisions on where to plan to spend my limited vacation time. 100%.

Everyone understands, or should by this point, that the pandemic has taken its toll, but this is the new normal and people and businesses are looking for a leading example. Therein lies the opportunity for companies to shine. 

Culture is defined by how people behave.

This is after all, the time of the Great Opportunity and I am THIRSTY for examples of culture and engagement leadership

We are committed to the small details of the benefit plan and would be pleased to engage in a meaningful conversation. Give us a call. 


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