We had the absolute pleasure of staying at the Acacia Premier – a new 4 star hotel in Kisumu City whose Hospitality is not only worth writing home about, but rivals establishments that have been in the industry for years. Their customer responsiveness was awesome. We had too many delightful experiences to narrate, but the one that blew me away was their response to (what was then) a presumed security breach.

On the morning of the second day of our stay, I needed to wear a particular set of earrings and after looking and looking and looking for the little bag that houses my earrings and necklace sets, I couldn’t find it. I therefore concluded that it was missing and at breakfast reported it as a missing item from my room.

What happened from the minute I uttered these words, remains for me a case study of the most efficient, competent and customer centered service recovery I have seen in a long time. I will surely use this occurrence as a training illustration going forwards in my training sessions.

Two different managers came to my breakfast table and demonstrated such seriousness about the missing item report, with continuous reassurance that something would be done about it immediately. The head of security, a tall well-built gentleman Mr. Rashid, in a very neat suit took down my details and documented my complaint with diligence.

The reassurance that this was indeed an unusual occurrence that they were taking very seriously, and would get to the bottom of it, and do their best to recover the lost item was provided with quiet and resolute confidence.
During our lunch break ( we were conducting a training workshop) the calm and efficient Mr. Rashid graciously requested if he could take up a few minutes of my time to update me on the status of the investigation.

I was also requested to accompany the team to my room to explain the circumstances of my missing jewellery bag. More notes were taken and all three team members apologized once again for the mishap and promised to personally handle the matter. I felt massively reassured. Mr. Rashid also produced system reports that documented the entry and exit times for my room and reassured me once again the they were doing all they could to resolve the matter.

As a customer I felt unquestionably cared for, important and of significance to the institution. The amount of time that was being taken to follow up my case and the constant updates on the progress was very impressive. I felt like part of the Acacia family and I could feel their great disappointment at having an incident of this nature happen to a guest.

As a result of all this goodwill towards me, where naturally I would have felt angry about the loss, I was feeling just as bad as the crew about how one member of the team who had committed this act was letting down all the rest who have been successfully working to build the brand.

To cut the long story short, it turns out that I was mistaken. My little jewellery bag was discovered by my colleague in a batch of paper bags that we’d carried from my room that housed our training material and visual aids. On discovery of it, I was excited to call Mr. Rashid and inform him that I was indeed mistaken and very apologetic for having put them through an investigation process, and for having somewhat accused their establishment of theft.

Needless to say they were very gracious and accommodating and even comforted me that the incident provided them an opportunity to test their service recovery systems.

I must say I was unequivocally impressed and tremendously awed by the handling of my case. The test of a great institution is how it reacts when things go bad. And just as customers who’ve had service failure incidents successfully resolved, feel more loyal to a brand, I am now completely steadfast in my belief that if that is the way Acacia Premier handles customer incidents, then they have my hand, my heart and my loyalty.

I am completely confident in their customer centricity and I say to all of you out there – watch that space. Acacia Premier is transforming the hospitality industry in the region – one satisfied guest at a time.