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There are two things people want more than sex and money... recognition and praise !
Evil Eric did it again, he made a " big " impression on his Christmas repeat guests, so big that they won't come back ever again.....
During their entire stay he was so unfriendly, both to the guests as well as to the staff, he just concentrated on recognizing the owners and their friends.
All these guests expected was, as the above mentioned quote attributed to Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics goes, recognition and praise !
But instead of the needed and, of course, also desired " Welcome back Mr. X and Mr. Y, glad to have you with us again " they received a " good morning " growl that put the living fear in them and thus they made sure to stay of Eric's way........
Eric should read Yeow Siew Hoon's article posted in TheTransitCafe.com on January 3, 2008 where she described 6 magic hotel moments to remember of 2007. All 6 of those brilliant moments can be brought down to one word " recognition ", which because of her expertise, she so rightly deserves.
Yet recognition ( and praise ) is nothing new, merchants in earlier days, like the village pub owner, knew their customers by sight and by name. They greeted them at the door. They built their business on the loyalty of these customers who they knew and who knew them.
Today most businesses are so large, complicated and have so many customers, that this type of personal recognition has become very difficult and the standard welcome letter and/or the "apple-orange-banana" display, doesn't do the trick any longer !
Customer loyalty has declined over the years, but it is possible today, economically, to hold in a computer the kind of information that those publicans and tavern operators used to keep in their heads.
Scores of hospitality companies are now getting the benefit of modern database marketing techniques that link reservation systems and caller ID schemes with a modern customer marketing database into a system that provides customers with recognition and personal services.
If Eric would have cared to look in his resort's data base, he would have recognized that these guests were repeat customers and hoteliers themselves on top of that .......
He should have realized that such a system is not installed " just " to produce financial results and statistics, but that using this information as customer recognition tool, can make a stay more satisfying to the customers and, thus, build loyalty and customer lifetime value.
The questions that Erik should ask himself first, and subsequently his staff, are simple :
But as the saying goes : " the fish stinks from the head and not from the tail " , and Evil Erik doesn't care, so the staff doesn't care and, at the end, it will affect referrals in a negative way, but his attitude is " that is the problem of Sales .............
What Evil Eric doesn't understand is that in the hospitality business kindness is more important than wisdom, and that the recognition of this fact is the beginning of wisdom.
Recognition is a process that occurs in thinking when some event, process, pattern, or object recurs and when the recognizer has correctly responded, this is a measure of understanding.
For example, when some animals have never seen a human being before, they do not hide and they show no fear; but when they learn that a human being may be a threat, they may emit distress cries, flee or hide. Perhaps that's why Eric goes in hiding when he sees guests !
Mr. X and Mr. Y, although not being the animals Erik thinks they are, recognized Eric's signals as danger, a sharp pulse along his internal spider web, and hence did flee and hide, but they will have the last word, they just don't come back next year.
What the good old Maître d', the Concierge and the Publican realized, consciously or sub-consciously, is that recognition of human individuals involves physical recognition, such as visual, auditory, as well as behavioral recognition, for instance the preferred wine, food or even the favored table in the restaurant
But please, dear reader, be honest, when was the last time you " googled " an expected guest or used the guest history information before you said hello to a guest in your hotel ?
Ultimately, such simple actions will get you that exposure that Siew Hoon gave those 6 hotels, get you in that door of potential customers and/or get you that recognition that will hopefully bring you the new opportunities your owners are asking for all the time.
The bottom line of this Eric-story is that sex and money are not everything but recognition is the greatest motivator for praise !
And for all of you still reading this : The first step towards amendment is the honest and ingenuous recognition of error, praise will then follow inevitably
He is the Founder and the Managing Director of The Winning Edge, ( www.twe-winningedge.com ) a boutique consulting company, offering marketing audit, sales and service training and consultancy services mainly to the Hospitality & Tourism industries.
He is a regular speaker at Hospitality Conferences and at Hotel Companies Senior Executive Meetings both in Asia and in Europe
His entertaining and " outside of the nine dots " presentation on " Hotel General Manager, can anybody, everybody, somebody or nobody do this job ? " makes audiences laugh and cry at the same time !
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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