Let’s go back to basics and rediscover real value-based marketing in hotels
Hotels offer rooms; a place to stay for the night – or longer – where the guest doesn’t need to invest a single thought toward their own well-being, it’s just magically taken care of, and all included in the price. There’s a whole host of other amenities the guest could – and should – interact with whilst on site, but let’s just keep this basic, and see where we get.
Obviously, it makes a great deal of business sense when customers view the “experience” of staying in that hotel as positive.
It’s a loose definition, I know. Here we can define it as looking more to get a smiley next to the hotel name, rather than a frownie. Pretty basic stuff.
Now the fun starts!
I’m just staying for the night, before an important business meeting, off-site, the next day. I want to relax a bit, check my notes, talk with my family at home, probably while light-snacking my way through a couple of sandwiches and a beer – but that’s just me.
Look, no Wi-Fi!
Oh, sorry, yes there is – I just need to activate it, by clicking here, and here, and, oh wait – I need to recheck that with reception – now I can click here – and agree to what? – before I finally find that WhatsApp has been disabled. Smiley, anyone?
So, check my notes – connection a bit laggy – I’m so pleased I planned ahead and put a local version of that presentation on my thumbdrive – ha! – oh wait, not this version! I forgot to re-synch the super-final-yes-version-really-for-sure-this-one_v5 out of the web in the office. Doh! Ah well, I can put a few more hours in, I have the pictures sharp in my mind.
An hour later and I notice – the lag has stopped – great – and here’s the real-final-version-for-real, and I can make my edits. It must be my fault for the lost time, my “plan ahead” was flawed, right?
(Better just download the whole kaboodle to my laptop while the WiFi is up, right?)
And this is probably exactly what everyone else in the hotel is doing at this precise moment… Smileys all round, but not so good for the putting-baby-to-bed video call with my wife…
So, streaming’s out then – what does the TV have to offer?
Cripers – I haven’t actually turned one of these things on in ages – what’s the deal?
Fiddle, zap, flick – no, I don’t want to talk to reception again…
This lo-res nature channel “wildlife of the dingbats” will do for now.
So how about that beer – and those nuts, conveniently laid out for me under the TV?
Me thinketh not – but me very tempted. And so it goes on, my own nocturnal journey of disgruntlement through the minibar.
Is this a caring experience that warms hearts and souls?
Because I have a laptop and a smartphone, am I some kind of über-tecchie, never-before seen in this european city metropole? Maybe it was exactly so, way back in 1991, almost a quarter of a century ago. Back then, maybe, when honey-roasted kettle-nuts from Macademia were imported on the black market, under threat of deportation? That might go some way to explain the price…
Do I feel like I came to the right place?
Do I really care?
Well, at least the bed is great.
Slipping off, a pleasant slumber, as yet unaware of the intricacies of the 8.30am check-out; the gratis Zen-Masterclass in Patience and Queue-management not yet forming on that distant dreamy horizon…
Tomorrow – I enjoyed my breakfast…
…and met the CEO of StarTec – and hit it out of the park – they are on board, and want to meet the development team next week, same time, same place! Luckily, I had planned on this one of several possible outcomes, and we can all take a short break from production – without losing That Other Customer. Great!
Shame I already know which hotel we won’t be staying at.
Shame I saw they have conference rooms – that I won’t be booking either.
(Don’t get me started on what kind of projectors they may have had, or how long the coffeebreak is allowed to be, or who exactly is meeting on the other side of that handy-dandy room divider…)
I wonder if the next hotel will be any better?
I do not expect to have to think about this stuff these days.
It should just work.
Be different, remember?
Dear hoteliers, do not downgrade my living experience – and expect smileys!
I have WiFi at home, I stream my own entertainment and I know what peanuts can cost, including a mark-up. That also goes for my choice of cool beverage, and also how long I like to hang about in lobbies…
It makes me forget how good the bed was, how clean the bathroom, how thoughtful the breakfast choices.
Downgrade my experience, my intelligence, my optimism?
This downgrades your business.
What really bugs you, when you stay at the “wrong” hotel?
Share your comments below – but please don’t namedrop the hotels!
Jeremy Armes runs protel hotelsoftware’s marketing department.
He regularly demands cool beers and internet access, as well as great ideas for shaping positive user experiences.
He firmly believes in the power of change!