Four Seasons Hotels makes customer service list ... Rockin out at the airport
The U.S.marketing firm of J.D. Power and Associates issued its second annual list of Customer Service Champions, and Toronto-based Four Seasons made the travel list.
The company singled out five hotels in the travel category: Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Hampton hotels, Hotel Indigo and Drury hotels; a nice mix. In rental cars, they gave the nod to Enterprise and Ace rental cars, the latter a company I know nothing about. They also gave three airlines the thumbs up for customer service; Jet Blue, Southwest and Virgin America; none of them having much to do with Canada (sadly).
It's nice for Four Seasons, for sure. I haven't stayed in a lot of them, but the ones I've been to were exceptional, including the hotel in Santa Barbara, California and, shown at right, the Four Seasons Hong Kong. I had a drink with a guy from a major European-based hotel chain a year or so ago and we were talking about major hotel groups.
"I don't know," he said. "I think Four Seasons has lost their way."
J.D. Power and consumers appear to disagree...
The J.D. Power survey found that 52 per cent of consumers said they'd return to the customer service champion companies, and 58 per cent said they'd recommend them to friends. According to USA Today, only 37 per cent said they'd return to companies that didn't make the list, while only 38 per cent said they'd recommend them to friends.
Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of Global Travel for J.D. Power, said customers preferred companies that provided value for the price, came up with innovative ideas and had friendly staff.
"If you just satisfy someone, it's not enough," he said. "It's really beyond satisfaction. It's being able to delight passengers and guests."
ROCKING OUT WITH AIRPORT TUNES
It seems a lot of American airports are getting into the music biz. An item in USA Today this week talked about how both Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports play music on the p.a. system; everything from rock to jazz to folk. They'll even toss in boogie-woogie piano tunes and the odd polka classic, which is kinda fun.
I think this is a great idea. I mean, we know Jann Arden (at left with the now-famous dog) doesn't like taking the train, so maybe she can do live performances at Pearson?
There's certainly no shortage of Canadian tunes that could be played on the sound systems at Canada's airports: The Guess Who, Neil Young, Sarah McLachlan, The Barenaked Ladies, Rush, Celine Dion (not for me, thanks), Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, Drake. The list could, pardon the expression, go on and on.
WOW - OLYMPICS COMING UP FAST
London 2012 organizers say the first completed Games-time apartments in the Olympic and Paralympic Villages were unveiled today as the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) announced plans to deliver ‘gold medal standard’ athlete accommodation.
"The Village will be able to house up to 16,000 athletes and team officials during the Olympic Games, and 6,200 athletes and team officials plus 1000 referees and umpires during the Paralympic Games, from more than 200 teams around the world," officials said.