Consistency - the Key to Success
By Rob Rush CEO, LRA Worldwide | May 19, 2010
OK, let's get down to the bottom of this. Please stand up and raise your hand if you've been "WOW-ed" lately. At the supermarket, dry cleaner, health club or hotel. Where have you had your socks knocked off...and then cleaned, pressed, folded and put away?
How about a truly awful experience? Give me a shout out if you've been mistreated, ignored or taken for granted. Where have you had an experience that brought you from a simmer, to a slow boil...and then to a frothing, steaming, spewing cauldron of frustration?
What's that you say? You have both types of experience on a regular basis, often from the same company? Well, which one makes a greater impact and sticks with you longer, the gauzy sunshine or the raging volcano?
I think we all know the answer to that one. The sour taste of a poor experience is far more likely to overpower the sweetness of a "WOW"...and linger. Yet many companies still try to haphazardly swing for the fences, both in message and delivery, ignoring the negative impact of the whiff in exchange for the rare but intoxicating rush of the home run.
In keeping with the baseball analogy, it might help to illustrate my point by introducing you to the baseball statistic of Slugging Percentage, which measures how far a player makes it around the bases each at-bat. Let's say Player A bats four times in a game, and hits a home run to go with three strikeouts; Player B bats four times in the same game and notches four singles. Both players have an identical slugging percentage of 1.000, indicating that on average they totaled one base per at bat. In reality? Player A brought his team closer to the end of an inning three times in the game, while Player B kept the inning going, each time.
And in baseball - like in business - you can stay at bat forever if you keep hitting singles. However, you will quickly find yourself playing defense if you focus all of your attention on one big hit at the expense of three feeble outs. And the hospitality industry is no exception. You aren't going to keep your doors open by WOW-ing every fourth guest and whiffing with the other three. The recipient of the WOW may become a loyal guest, but certainly won't occupy every room in the joint. Delivering consistently to all four guests? That keeps your RevPAR climbing and the metaphorical inning alive.
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