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Guest Experience – Don’t lose focus

I had an opportunity this week, to meet with a company that wanted my thoughts on hotel related subject mater as part of project research they were working on. I felt very important. It has been a while since my opinion was sought in this way, but more so – I found myself enthused by the questions that were being asked and the animated way in which I was able to answer them given just how jaded I have become of late with the very industry in which I work.

Something became clear to me, to the credit of the Brand I am a part of, and if I think back a year, one of the top three reasons I wanted to be a part of it – and in some ways one of those things you don’t realise is so prevalent until you leave and go somewhere else to see just how badly other places are doing it.

Guest experience focus.

Call yourself a boutique brand – boutique hotel – make them all look the same, or different – have pictures on the wall that remind you of the city you’re in – have a famous chef’s name on the door – offer free WIFI – open up in 50 locations around the world – give everyone a pink balloon on their arrival to the hotel and have everyone dressed as Mickey Mouse……NONE of it matters if you focus on the big picture and then work backwards, as opposed to the other way around.

What if the guests who you hope to attract to the hotel don’t want any of these things as part of their guest experience? What if your brand, your hotel, your location – the needs of your guests are different to those of the hotel “next door” and as such what seems to have worked for one company just isn’t what will work for yours?

What if, you haven’t even bothered to find out the most basic of information that could enhance their guest experience, preferring to believe that a picture on a wall or name on a door will be enough to make them feel….special?

So what is my point? Simple, and as the title of the piece says…..Don’t. Lose. Focus. There will be times when the work you put in isn’t appreciated, and the learning curve to ensure that mistakes don’t happen is a long one, after all everyone is made up their own special ingredients and it takes time to learn the recipe. But once you have it, you have them.

Is that it? Nope…..next time, “Service”…..the people…….above may be one element of  a “part 1”, but if it were that simple, everyone would be doing it….

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