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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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.