In my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, I recently passed a billboard for a local bank on the interstate that advertised, “Now open seven days a week.”
I nearly swerved off the road.
A bank that defies banker’s hours—what a novel idea!
I’m no marketing guru, but when a move such as this makes me reconsider where I do my banking, it seems as though this company is on to something.
How can you apply this give-them-more-than-they-expect philosophy to your hotel?
Discounts aside (a race to the bottom is so boring, anyway), it’s a good time to consider how you can add to the customer experience without decreasing the value of your product.
At an economy hotel, it could be as simple as buying a can of Folgers, firing up the coffee maker and welcoming guests with a hot cup of joe. Or what if you organized a staff bake sale?
At midscale establishments, what if you added turndown service—complete with an inexpensive Andes mint on the pillow? Or how about a complimentary car wash on Saturdays? Acknowledge loyalty club members with a special gift at check-in?
Luxury hotel operators—you’ve taken rate to historical lows after you slashed everything that wasn’t customer facing. What can you bring back now that momentum is positive? What is a ridiculously over-the-top service that you would love to offer? Now is the time!
Swoop in and grab market share by being the envy of your comp set. Not (just) because you crunched the numbers to drive rate, but because you found something that made your guests’ lives easier, better, more comfortable … Free childcare? Wine reception? Free airport shuttle (pretty please)?
If you’ve found success by doing more with less, let us know. Making customers happy can only lead to good things for the entire hotel industry. It’s time to make headlines with excellent service stories rather than rock-bottom deals.