If you travel this summer, expect a very different customer experience. First off, there is a severe staffing shortage. As such, employees are allowed to get away with really rotten customer service since there is no fear of being replaced. We used to say, everyone is replaceable. But today we are just happy if someone shows up to work or at least logs onto their zoom call at the appointed time. Below is a list of real examples of how the customer experience has taken a turn for the worst. The new customer experience is much different than pre-pandemic customer experience.
Forget VIP Treatment
On our recent trip to Mackinac Island to stay at The Grand Hotel, we reserved a cabana by the pool. We paid $650 for the use of the cabana for the day. When we reserved it, the concierge told us we would have unlimited water, towels and personal service. We arrived at the cabana the morning of our reservation expecting VIP treatment and a day of relaxation. There were not enough towels for all of us so we went to the pool desk and the staff told us they were out of towels. We went back two hours later and picked up our own towels since they never came back to bring them to the cabana. We asked for water three times before anyone brought it. We asked for drinks and were told the bar was not open. The wait for menus was an hour and a half. And lastly, when we pulled over an extra chair, the pool attendant ran out of the pool house yelled at us for adding an extra chair. She told us the contract we signed didn’t allow for this even though we had requested three chairs at the time of booking. After constantly being told no and being yelled at, we finally asked to speak to a manager because it was just awful service. The manager came to the cabana and apologized and let us keep the extra chair but not after a lot of yelling and aggravation. On top of all of this, we had to clean up the glassware and dishes and throw out all the trash throughout the day because there was no staff to do so.
We are on our third day in the Governor’s Suite at the Grand Hotel. The room has not be cleaned since we checked in and despite repeated calls for towels, we are sharing two wet towels between four of us on our side of the suite. In years past, the room was cleaned twice per day, and glassware and towels were replaced regularly. We share the suite with my sister-in-law and her family so there are 8 of us in the room total. She has also called for towels and today we actually had to ask for toilet paper. It’s a whole new world! Bring your own cleaning supplies, toilet paper and towels if you can. At least you can clean your own room if needed. And be prepared to pay the most that you ever have paid!
Forget Certain Services
If you travel to Mackinac Island this summer, you will not be going to the spa. They are all closed due to staffing shortages. Some of them may never reopen. Only time will tell how the pandemic will impact the hospitality sector. When my mother-in-law asked about getting a hair appointment, staff seemed annoyed with her and told her there were none available this summer. Wait times for restaurants are hours long and lines go out the doors at most establishments. Be sure to check the Mackinac Island Travel Advisory to see what is open before you go to the island. Plan ahead and be prepared for just about anything!