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Last week, I had the good fortune of traveling to Lisbon for what I would call an eventful trip filled with ups and downs.

To start, my red eye over was not good. Bad weather gave way to a bumpy flight (and even a lightning strike), and I got little to no sleep. After an eventual safe arrival in Portugal, I checked into the Epic Sana Hotel only to find there were several problems with my room. On my way back out to explore the city, I stopped at the front desk to report my concerns. I was assured they’d be promptly addressed while I was out.

When I returned, the manager stopped me and explained that they were able to resolve some of my concerns, but not all. He offered to change my room, which I graciously accepted.

To me, this was exceptional customer service.

Why? Seems counter-intuitive, right? My room was not up to par, the issues were not all resolved and I had to go through the inconvenience of moving rooms. Sure, that’s how it may have appeared on the surface, but I didn’t see it that way.

For starters, he approached me as soon as I walked back into the hotel. Next, he was completely honest with me as to why they were unable to resolve all the issues. And third, they offered to rectify the situation by changing my room.

He was responsive and transparent–and he thought ahead in order to avoid any further inconvenience on my end.

What’s more, when I asked for suggestions about things to see and places to eat, the concierge provided excellent recommendations, gave me clear directions to various venues and made my reservations for me. But it’s what he did next that I appreciated even more: he asked for my email. He explained that he wouldn’t be in for the next few days but wanted to send me a reminder email about one of my upcoming reservations while he was out. It seems he was particularly fond of this one restaurant and didn’t want me to miss out on the experience.

At J2, service is one of the cornerstones of our business–and we treat our partners with the same level of service.

Clearly, the Epic Sana in Portugal also puts customer service at the forefront of what they do. No, they were not perfect–nothing is. But they went above and beyond to make it right. They weren’t striving for good enough; they were striving to make it better–and for that, this hotel will get my repeat business.

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Don Alden Adams

Have a great weekend.