It can just take one person to make or break your business and very often that person is answering your phone and/or manning your front desk.
Take my check in experience at The Mount Somerset Hotel – 21:30 last night I arrive after an evening presentation to Lloyds/TSB customers in nearby Taunton.
It’s dark and one of those country house hotels that doesn’t appear on the SatNav and is approached along windy lanes under a moonlit sky.
I pull up outside the front door and walk in with my bags.
In the entrance hall is an attractive young girl at a desk in the main reception area, a winding staircase behind her.
“Mr Barrow?” she asks and when I confirm she adds,’I was getting a little worried that you had been delayed.”
Already I know I’m in the right place – in the first millionth of a second she has popped herself into the “competent and cares” box.
She escorts me to my room – a long walk to the rear of this Regency pile – and engages me in conversation all the way, asking how my day was, whether I would like a wake up call, newspaper, breakfast timings.
I ask what time the hotel doors normally open and, on hearing 07:00, ask if they could be opened at 06:30 so I can take my morning run.
“No problem, leave that with me.”
I ask for an iron and ironing board.
“No problem.”
She (Kaley I now discover) asks if I would like early coffee or tea – and a few minutes later she arrives with an individual tea tray set out for the morning.
Having delivered the iron and board herself, she wishes me a pleasant evening.
This morning I return from my jog to find her sat there, dressed well, made up, hair done – and ready for another day of outstanding customer service.
An ambassador for her employers – I hope they know.
Kaley, you are a lynchpin and you deserve to go far.
All this and a lovely environment (my room was superb and this morning I relished a monsoon shower after my run) – for £120.
This morning I asked for porridge (not on the menu).
“No problem” replied my waitress.
Get here for a weekend break.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.