Who’s In Your Hotel?

In the past few months, I’ve had 2 late night flights cancelled causing me to spend extra nights in cities not of my choosing.  In each case, the airline provided me with a hotel voucher.

As I checked into each hotel, I asked the front desk attendants if they wanted my loyalty number.  It just so happened that both hotels were part of chains that I frequent.

At the first hotel, the attendant thought I was asking if I would be earning points for my stay.  She told me that she didn’t need my number because I couldn’t get points for a stay that was paid by the airline.  Tired and weary from the day, I smiled and thanked her for my room.

A few weeks later at the second hotel, the attendant started down the same path.  I would not be getting points for my stay so she wouldn’t need my number.  I almost smiled and walked away again but didn’t.  “No, no,” I said, “I’m not wanting points for this stay. . . I understand I’m not paying for this so I’m not getting points.  I’m asking you about capturing my number because I’m wondering if you want to know who is in your hotel?”    She looked at me funny like she was trying to figure out what I was talking about.

After an odd pause, her reply, again, was simply, “I don’t need your number since you aren’t paying.”

If these hotels acted comprehensively in support of their customer loyalty programs, they would always ask if customers have their loyalty number.  Not so the customer can get points, but so they can better serve their most loyal guests!

After a frustrating evening of delayed and cancelled flights, the maddening rearranging of schedules, and coming to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be sleeping in my own bed, they missed a huge opportunity.

Just imagine if 5 minutes after I checked into my room I received a knock at the door and there was a smiling hotel attendant with a cookie and a bottle of water.  And just imagine if this attendant simply said,  “We are sorry your travel plans have been cancelled, but we are glad you are with us tonight.  Thank you for being a member of our loyalty club.”  Do you think I would remember that?  And do you think that would strengthen my brand loyalty to that hotel?  Absolutely!

I started to think how many times we may miss opportunities to give a special touch to leadership donors and other key individuals at events, performances, or other gatherings?  How many times do we miss opportunities to let them know that we are celebrating with them, or mourning with them, or laughing with them.

We have opportunities each day to strengthen key relationships through seemingly small actions.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort or energy.  It simply requires us to ask ourselves a similar question that I asked during my layovers:  “Do we want to know who is in our hotel?”

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