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Consistency is not just a word

Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 28 Giugno 2002

Sometimes even the most expert operators display behaviours that are surprisingly inconsistent. We heard recently that Wyndham International, an important American hotel company, decided to offer its business clientele the use of the phone for local and national calls free of charge, thus settling one of the most frequent reasons for complaint. Commendable! Were it not for the fact that the year before the same company had been taken to court in Florida for overcharging electricity costs, in a state – Florida – which was not suffering from energy shortages, as happens in California, for example. A further case may be that of a company which, in addition to being a tour operator, manages well-advertised and successful holiday villages. Two years ago, my son and some friends went to one such village in Tunisia – the holiday was a gift for their school-leaving exam – and they all came back disgusted by the quality of the food. I could not believe they were right, so when the year after a girlfriend of theirs went to the same place (again as a school-leaving celebration) I was curious to find out from her what the cooking had been like, but her reply was a grimace of dislike. Here, too, something must be wrong if the only concern is that of showing nice photographs in the catalogues, leaving customers to “fan themselves” and be content with fine air at the moment of meals. We could mention many more examples of this type, which we all find in our daily lives; they can be summed up by the image of the arrogant and rude cashier who – at the moment of issuing our bill – asks if we want to receive their corporate card. Customer care as a management technique probably needs to be thoroughly revisited and – above all – it has to become part of people’s awareness and attitude, if it is to stop being an empty word, to be perceived for what it truly should be – care for others.

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