My job requires me to travel a lot. I see many hotels all over the country. I am loyal to certain hotel brands.
What makes me loyal to those brands? It’s not the quality of the beds, its not the quality of their food or the size of their workout facilities.
Sure, those things can make a difference but if all else is equal, there is only one thing that makes me loyal to a hotel brand – the quality of the service I receive when I’m there. Frankly, it all starts at registration.
When I register at a hotel, if the person behind the desk smiles, is courteous and friendly and shows they are interested in making my stay enjoyable and comfortable, I am much more likely to return to that hotel or one of its sister properties. When they go that extra mile and ask probing questions to find out what my interests are and then offer suggestions to fulfill those interests, they create a customer for life.
Let me give you an example. The other day I checked in to a hotel late at night. My trip had been long and full of delays. I was exhausted and ready to unpack and relax before my meetings started early the next morning. I had to wait in line for several minutes before getting to the registration desk. When arriving at the desk, I pulled out my drivers license and credit card as I always do and told them my name. The registrar welcomed me to their hotel with a smile, looked me in the eye and called me by name. While checking me in, instead of ignoring me, the registrar conversed with me – mostly asking me questions about where I was from, what brought me to their hotel, how long I had been traveling and when my meetings started. After answering her questions, she quickly realized I hadn’t eaten all day and their restaurants were closed. She could have easily told me where the most local restaurant was and put me in a cab.
Instead, realizing I was very tired and had an early meeting, she offered to call in an order for me from a local restaurant and went to pick it up and deliver it to my room. Now, whenever I have the opportunity, I stay at that brand of hotels.
What makes you loyal to a brand?