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Up, Bar!

The standard for customer service will never be the same.

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This story appears in the May 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Recently I was asked to speak with a group of managers from alarge hotel chain about the nature of competition in the changingcommercial environment. For the exercise, I assumed the persona ofa sales rep from St. Louis staying in a Hartford, Connecticut,property. Each of the hotel managers, by the way, was empowered torun their individual properties as though they owned them.

The challenge for the managers was complex. Within the largercontext of the hotel's policy, financial expectations andperformance guidelines, they had to "customize" my guestexperience and make me think the entire chain revolved around myvisit. I told them that, minimally, they should have acomprehensive log of my preferences from past visits (featherpillow, temperature pre-set at 72 degrees, etc.).

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