Chocolate Pillow | Simple Things, Massive Impact
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Simple Things, Massive Impact

16 Mar Simple Things, Massive Impact

I was at work several weeks ago when someone drew my attention to a tiny detail that had made a guest fall in love with our hotel and decide to go on to tell all her friends and family about us on every possible format from twitter to tripadvisor and beyond…

 

All we did was ask her whether there were any allergies or dietary requirements to make the restaurant aware of, when she booked here evening meal.  This was a 2 second question, but made her stay – she even tracked down the general manager and expressed how grateful she was to be asked.

 

This may seem all a bit extreme, and you may be wondering why she was so impressed by such a tiny thing?  The answer is that she had a three year old son who had severe allergies; she had come away for a break and left her son at home with grandparents; this was a special break away for her and she was so massively impressed that we had asked about allergies – she said that since her son was born, we were the first ever place to ask about allergies when taking the booking; she is now planning to bring her son to the hotel for a family holiday because we paid attention to these things.  Now most hotels are the same – if you are made aware of an allergy, you do all you can to avoid triggering it, particularly with food allergies.

 

But how many hotels and restaurants actually ask their guests about allergies when taking a dining reservation?  Very few; the guest in question was starting a campaign to raise awareness of allergies – the hotel offered support, even if it was only use of a function room for the day.  Such a simple thing, and such an easy question really raised the guests experience of the hotel; she did not stop smiling throughout her stay – she wasn’t in teh best room, nor did she have everything free, we just made her happy!

Other little examples of simple things that have made a guests stay, and elicited fantastic feedback are:

  • Knowing which way Mecca is for muslim guest prayer times – even offering use of a small meeting room to hold prayers
  • Giving a story/colouring book to children that are checking in
  • Giving a bottle of champagne to the couple that just got engaged followed by breakfast in bed the following day
  • Asking someone if they want to change room type when it is a mother and daughter and they have booked a double
  • Providing interconnecting rooms to parents and children or people with carers

there are hundreds of little things that can be done – this story is just to demonstrate that sometimes, even the things we take for granted, and that just form a standard part of your booking process etc, can be that massive difference!

Matt Shiells-Jones
matt@chocolatepillow.com

Husband, Author, Hotel Manager and ambitious 'old cat lady'



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