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But why is it that you can only get this type of service when you pay a LOT of money (regardless of the type of service you're purchasing - e.g. staying at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, buying clothes at Nordstrom's, etc.)? There's nothing keeping the hotel staff at the Comfort Inn in Huntington, Indiana from being as thoughtful and polite as the Four Season's staff in Scottsdale. Nor is there anything keeping the Sales staff at Foley's from being as attentive and helpful as their counterparts at Nordstrom's. Now, I realize that some levels of service simply cost more to provide and therefore, generate more expense to the consumer. But do I not deserve common courtesy unless I pay for it...?

Todd Vernon

I think I know why. For most people at Comfort Inn and other chains that are more budget based, their job is more tactical. They didn't chose the hospitality industry, it chose them because they needed a job. At higher end places a large percentage of the staff is specifically going into the industry. They work at four seasons because they want to learn. It's a stepping stone in their career, so they care. My best guess.


On a related note, I am coming to really hate fake service--where employees are required to do things that resemble good service, but it is only going through the motions.

For example my local Safeway is clearly forcing employees to greet customers and ask how they are doing. This isn't real because if you need REAL service--like can't find something or are baffled at the large number of items with no price marked, employees often don't know and look fearful that any distraction might keep them from making their orange-stocking quota.

Management seems to be telling employees: act like good service providers, but we won't support any time required for real service.

What's worse is that I have shopped there for years, and the employees at that store have always been friendly, but real--some have bad days, etc. Shopping there was pleasant. But now that greetings and "friendliness" are mandatory, the fakeness annoys me and I can sense resentment in the employees, so interactions at the store are much less pleasant.

Point is, I think service is about good people in a service-conducive and supportive management environment--it's more attitude than specific actions.

It seems to be a common mistake for a company to emulate the actions of successful service-oriented companies rather than the attitude, or to think that good service and a positive experience can be boiled down to a list of actions.

At the end of the day, good service comes from hiring good people, keeping them happy and trained, in a good environment--all can be expensive.

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