About a year ago, I wrote about a dismal night I spent at a Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento, California. But I was also impressed that they cared enough to monitor their customers’ experiences, and when I reported my dissatisfaction through an online survey they responded and tried to recover quickly.
Part of their recovery was a gift certificate for a free stay at any Red Lion Hotel. This past weekend, I used that gift certificate at the same Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento that was the source of my original complaint.
This hotel has a great location near a major shopping mall. Even though the hotel is older than most in the area, the facility is clean and well maintained. The front desk staff was responsive and friendly. The only reason I will probably never return to the hotel is none of the rooms have internet service. They do offer free wireless in the lobby, but because I do so much work online that’s too much of an inconvenience for me.
The fine print on my gift certificate said you had to call a number provided to make a reservation. I screwed that up by making my own reservation online and did not catch the mistake until a few hours before I was supposed to check in on a Saturday. But I was able to call that number on Saturday and the agent cancelled my online reservation and set me up with what had to be one of the best rooms in the hotel. That’s impressive.
I probably won’t return to that specific Red Lion property because of the internet issue, but because I know Red Lion truly cares about their customers, I will continue to consider them as an option when I travel. If you fail to impress your customers in the initial transaction, and they do you the favor of letting you know, make sure you impress them with your recovery. Well done, Red Lion.