Good fortune

Good fortune

Put this in your owners’ fortune cookie:  

How much money you take to the bank is in direct proportion to how your guests think and speak of you. The more they recognize your distinction and the more they feel connected to you, the mo’ money they bring you. Like it or not, people are Yelping you, TripAdvisoring you and blogging about you before they buy you. Simple: It’s “media” — not “medi-huh.” 

Guest satisfaction goes beyond what we have to give those “pesky guests.” My acid test is this: If a guest is at a cocktail party after they have checked out and someone asks, “Gwyneth, how was your trip to Boston?” the only response I, as a manager or owner, is interested in hearing Gwyneth say is, “OMG, fabulous. Let me tell you about the hotel I stayed at. They … ”

My work is about getting hotels to be number one in their comp set and putting distance between hotels and their competitors. Too often at P&L reviews I have heard owners say, “I am not interested in your TripAdvisor rating. Why aren’t you number one in your comp set?” While seemingly a reasonable question, comp sets are contrived. By a wave of a pen, the comp set could be changed along with the results. These days, you can dispose of an undesirable comment card, but media sticks to you like a tattoo. What your guests say turns into real money real fast, or loss you can’t even begin to measure. If Pythagoras were alive today, there would surely be an algorithm to prove this.   

Here’s a positive news flash! The paradigm that really happy guest experiences cost more is not a useful theory. There is a bigger picture to happiness than 800-thread-count sheets — it begins with embracing a more holistic view of things. Just as you don’t get the taste of apple pie in your mouth by lining up oil, apples and flour on a plate, you don’t get amazing experiences by addressing cost, training and talent as separate components. If blended appropriately, what you get is a great culture. Culture is not about expense. Nor should it be a human resources “to do” project — great culture springs from great leadership, as do results.

The greatest guest experiences in the world come from business cultures that align themselves with the highest potential of financial and human outcomes. It makes good profit along with good sense. 

Yum. Pass the good fortune cookies.