Although I prefer the Hyatt, I'll be staying at the Hilton this year.
I usually stay at the Hyatt - the host hotel. I love it there, I know the staff and they know me. The bartenders are almost personal friends by now. But their customer service fell flat when I tried to make reservations yesterday. I needed a room with two beds for the show rate and there were conflicts with two days where the show rate rooms were already fully booked. I could have spent $5 more for one day and $30 more for the second day, but I decided to try a different hotel instead. I know that the hotel still had rooms available, just not at the show rate, and they were unwilling to bend at all on their rates. The Hilton hotel, my second choice, ran into the same problem - not having a room with two beds available for the time frame that I needed. But instead of telling me that I would have to pay one rate for one day, one rate for another day, and the show rate for the remaining days, they worked on it for me. They checked their availability, and they gave me a room at the show rate even though the block of rooms for the show had already had all of their 2-bed rooms booked. They came through for me. Guess who got my reservation this year - duh! So great customer service pulled me into a new place and got my dollar. I guess that's a lesson for all of us in retail. Customer service CAN make a difference. I just have to keep remembering that and keep working on it in my own store so that I am the place that is chosen, not the store that is left behind.