While on vacation for the most part we kept really busy. Even when we had down time when driving a lot of it was either driving or navigating. There was also a lot of talking and planning that took place on the drives. For me I got up early before everyone else, grabbed some coffee, and made my way to a quite place. I used this time to write, read, and just think in general. It made a great way to start each day.
It seems that after every vacation I end up thinking about customer service. Not sure if it is because of all the interacting I end up doing with different people all over, or because I actually do have time to think, or a combination of both. Coming back I felt the same way I did last year, almost every interaction I had was positive. In the past I used to think that small talk was a big part of being friendly. While that certainly has it’s place you can be friendly and professional and stay on point. For many people this is even more important. They have other things to do with their time than chat. That was the majority of the service I had, everyone was friendly and helpful, but they stayed on point and got the job done.
The only one time that comes to mind that was not a great experience was one of the hotels we stayed in. We arrived basically right at 8:00pm. We had been driving pretty much all day, it was still light out and 30 degrees Celsius out. On the way we figured it would be great for me an the older kids go relax and stretch in the pool while Jen put Noah to sleep with no one else around. As I’m checking in I ask about how to get to the pool, she tells me, but then says it closes at 8:00. It’s not a supervised pool, still really warm and light, so there is no real reason for it to close at 8:00 except that it’s the rule. It made me thankful that in my job I wouldn’t have had to say no. If this hotel were like Automattic I pretty much would have been able to say, go swim and have fun, then let everyone know that I let them go swim and that we should revise our thinking on pool closing times.
In all the vacation was a great time away and I feel refreshed and looking forward to getting back to work. I’ll take the good parts from interactions I had and use them when I talk with our users and make sure I don’t follow any of the things I didn’t like. I also read this great post by Andrew Spittle on Customer Success and renew my efforts to ensure I take advantage of the opportunities I have each day.