I was out of town last week at a convention in another city, a large city.  I stayed at a five-star hotel, and the convention was at a different five-star hotel.

I spent more time at the hotel where the convention was than my own hotel.  Talk about luxurious.  This was the first time I ever saw a hotel that actually had their own water slide with their pool.  They had multiple people to cater to your every need, including parking, carrying bags, etc.  The facilities were immaculate and spacious, and anything you asked for you immediately received, no questions asked.

I only had one problem with the hotel; that was the prices.  For instance, they charged $5 for a can of soda, and $3.75 for a glass of soda.  I don’t drink, and it was a good thing because a bottle of beer was $8.  I ordered a chicken salad sandwich, one that was pre-packaged, and it cost me $11.  One didn’t have to worry about tipping the baggage guys or the guys parking your cars because they added that charge onto your bill, charging $12 daily for those services, whether you used them or not.  Of course, my hotel wasn’t perfect in that regard, because they charged $15 a day to use the workout room or the pool, which I didn’t pay for, but I still had to pay $10 a day for internet service.

We all want great customer service, and both hotels were at the top of their game.  But is there a reasonable point at which the prices being charged for certain items actually ends up losing you business?  Is there a point at which the concept of selling less at more money is overcome by the prospect of selling more at a lower amount and making more money?  How many $5 cans of soda do you think the hotel sold once those people who had rental cars realized there was a gas station about a mile up the road?  How many bottles of beer weren’t sold for the same reason?

There is no chance of over valuing ones product when it comes to customer service.  However, there is over valuing ones customer service at the expense of the customer themselves.