Vegas, Baby! Vegas. It has been 12 long years since I visited “Sin City” and it was about time I gave it another whirl. I’m older. I’m wiser. (hopefully) And I’m a lot more observant about customer service. We did the package deal through Allegiant Air and the MGM Grand. Pretty great deal with a Vegas show thrown in. From beginning to end, it was a Las Vegas customer service ride.
I prefer to go with my own travel agent. In a world where buying tickets and comparison shopping is a mouse-click away, I really feel taken care of and that I get the best possible deal when I work with Pat at Marlin Travel. And nothing exemplified that more than when I went to her to get tickets for Vegas. She recommended I NOT go through her but rather Allegiant Air because she couldn’t do better than what they were offering.
Law #1 – Think of your customer’s needs first, your business’ second. By knowing what I was looking for and taking care of it, Pat ensured I would continue to be loyal to her and the amazing service she continues to provide. A lot of my friends go to her now too.
While in Las Vegas, there really were just two customer service impacts on my trip: MGM Grand and everything else.
Some of the examples of our MGM experience:
1) Once we arrived, we were immediately bumped up to a better room because there weren’t any non-smoking rooms left. Nice.
2) We were told over the phone when we booked our Cirque de Soleil tickets that we’d have to be there 4 hours in advance of 7pm. (yes, you read that right). Nice little scam to get us killing time in front of the slot machines I’m thinking. However, when I mentioned this to the concierge, she laughed and said, “that what they say on the phone but I’ll print yours right up until 6:30pm”.
3) So our friends, who weren’t staying at our hotel, wanted to use the pool so they could hang out with us. With a little digging online, I’d seen everything from $20 a person, to $10 a person to free. The front desk didn’t bat an eye and immediately issued additional room keys so our friends could join us.
Our Vegas customer service experience:
1) Amazing. End of list.
Every server, every dealer, every desk we encountered…all making a point to make eye contact, smile and say hello. Sometimes even with a little personality thrown in. This is an engaging town that understands it lives and dies by the customer experience (shouldn’t all businesses?). The only hiccup was a “slushie stand” on the strip that wouldn’t accept our friends ID because it was in German. They actually said it HAD to be in English. Really? The numbers show he’s of age and the picture matches…not great for an international city.
Law #2 – For the customer, it’s about the whole experience, not ups and downs. If your company can be useful and helpful for the entire engagement cycle with the customer, why wouldn’t you? We’re already looking at our next trip to Vegas and staying at the MGM Grand is at the top of our list. Except they now have a bit of competition…
As someone who spends a lot of time on social media, both for work and for play, I want to have the added experience of engaging online with the companies I’m spending my time/money with. My first remark was towards @MGMGrand on Twitter.
— Russel Lolacher (@RussLoL) August 2, 2013
— Russel Lolacher (@RussLoL) August 4, 2013
No response. Nada. Nothing. They seem more interested in promoting themselves and upcoming shows than actually engaging. (I looked). Hell of a missed opportunity to engage with your customers.
However, after visiting the Cosmopolitan, I was blown away by the look and tone of the brand new hotel. And I said so. Guess what, they responded back. Quickly.
@RussLoL Looks like you survived day one. Hope day 2 is adventurous and fun! p.s. we're thrilled to hear we're your favorite so far.
— The Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan_LV) August 3, 2013
I followed up with a few questions on what they recommended and they gave some great suggestions. I asked, they answered.
Law #3 – Engage with your customers where and how they want to engage, and yes, that includes social media. I will say that the bad online engagement of MGM won’t sour me on trying them out again as they were amazing in person…it’s just frustrating when their competition is so much better at something than they are.
I’ve been home a day and I want to go back already. Just give me a year to catch my breath.