Inside the Resort Where Customer Service Reigns Supreme The team at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass integrates customer service and a "can-do spirit" into everything they do — and it is paying off.

By Emily Washcovick

Key Takeaways

  • Combine customer feedback with your own professional expertise to deliver creative solutions that get everyone excited.
  • Elevating customer service for guests is a whole-team effort: Rely on your team to make customer experiences memorable.
  • Mistakes happen, but with a “can-do spirit” and an all-hands-on-deck mentality, you can make it right and keep customers coming back.
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Courtesy of Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass

Located in Chandler, Arizona, the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass is a resort that appeals to families, couples, and golfers alike. Bill Hunter, director of sales and marketing, and the Wild Horse Pass team integrate customer service and a "can-do spirit" into everything they do to make every guest feel listened to and cared for.

Because they're also often a location for large, celebratory company events, a positive attitude and excellent communication are key when coordinating moments that matter.

"[Customers] are spending a ton of money to bring their team together for maybe a celebration for a great year of sales. So while it may just be a Tuesday to us, it's a huge celebration and event to them. So having that mindset, first off, knowing that it's a big deal to your customer and then, listening to them—trying to not have 'no' be your first thing," Bill said.

Since the Sheraton Grand team are experts on their property and amenities, they use that knowledge to craft great experiences and temper customer expectations if a certain request isn't possible.

"What you have to do is think, 'Okay, maybe we can't do something a certain way, but here's what we can do,' and you start brainstorming with the customer. We know the property and we know our limitations, for example, on staffing. But together, we can come up with solutions that may even be better than what the customer originally thought. Because you take their idea, with your expertise, and you marry them together, and you can do some phenomenal things. But it starts with listening and really trying to understand what they're trying to accomplish and then using your experience to help guide them," Bill said.

Related: She Was Down to Her Last $5. Now She Runs a Multi-Million Dollar Cupcake Business.

Yelp reviewer Jessica S. appreciated this dedication to customer service, explaining that although things weren't perfect during her stay, it was clear the team really cared about her experience. This is why she would feel comfortable coming back again.

"The gentleman checking us in went above and beyond to make sure we could find our room. Everybody's doing their job and being kind and working hard," Jessica said.

With customer service at the heart of everything they do, the team at Wild Horse Pass relies on each other to make it all work. Day-to-day challenges are inevitable, but ultimately, coming together as a united front helps the team hurdle obstacles of all sizes.

"[During one event,] our property got hit by a small storm that took out about 30 power lines. We have 500 people in our ballroom ready for dinner, and the power is all down. So the whole team has to come together and say, 'What are we going to do?'

"Our culinary team already had all the cold salads and everything ready. But we couldn't cook hot food. So next thing you know, we're on the phones, getting pizzas and getting subs, and we have staff driving out to feed 500 people and everybody coming together.

Related: This Entrepreneur Needed an Affordable Vacation and Wound Up Inventing a Thriving Business

"We had this can-do spirit, and everybody just rallied around it and went out and got all this food, and it just turned out to be a phenomenal experience for the guests. And they were so appreciative, even though it wasn't the dinner that they were planning. We couldn't have gotten better reviews and comments about it than that. So that also goes into the water of how to repeat these things and what to do when the unknown comes at you. That's really what hospitality is about, is that can-do spirit."

In addition to its incredible amenities and high-quality service, Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass believes in:

  • Putting customer feedback at the forefront. Let your customers know you're listening and paying attention to their feedback in person and by responding to online reviews.
  • Work closely with customers to create a memorable experience, even if it's not what they initially envisioned. Collaborating with customers to create a custom experience makes them feel special. Plus, being upfront about your bandwidth and what's feasible will help set expectations.
  • Stepping in for your co-workers when the situation calls for it. Having a united team helps encourage collaboration that customers will notice and appreciate.

Listen to the episode below to hear directly from Bill and Jessica and subscribe to Behind the Review for more from new business owners and reviewers every Thursday.

Available on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.

Emily Washcovick

Small Business Expert at Yelp

As Yelp’s Small Business Expert, Emily is meticulously focused on helping local business owners succeed and grow. Her expertise lies in customer engagement, reputation management, and all things digital marketing. Through speaking engagements and thought leadership, Emily shares industry insights that entrepreneurs in any business category can leverage for the growth and well-being of their businesses. She is also the host of Behind the Review, a podcast from Yelp and Entrepreneur Media, where each episode features conversations with a business owner and a reviewer about the story and lessons behind their interactions.

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