Insist on Consistency: The Key to Gaining Life Long Customers

As a frequent traveler I spend quite a few nights during the year in hotel beds, for both business and leisure purposes. From the moment one arrives at a hotel there are a number of preconceived expectations related to everything from the check-in process and guest room comfort to the overall facilities and the added services the property can offer during each stay. Sometimes these expectations are met, or even exceeded, and other times one may find that things are not exactly what was wished for.

When staying in chain affiliated properties, consistency becomes an even more important part of meeting guest expectations. Overall global brand recognition is at stake when a single property fails to deliver in the quality, service, guest technology or security that is expected by frequent travelers with plenty of hotel choice in today’s competitive market place.

A few years back I was traveling through Latin America staying in both chain hotels and independent hotels, which I had booked prior to my trip. In one of the major cities of South America I spent a couple of nights in a globally renowned luxury branded five-star property. Unfortunately, the property failed to deliver on every account of my expectations, although my experiences from other parts of the world with the same brand had been positive. At this particular hotel the ceiling above the check-in desk was about to come down, inside the guestroom the bathroom sink and showerheads were rusting away, there was no in-room safe and the Wi-Fi connection was down during my entire stay. Imagine if this was someone’s first stay with this reputable brand and the implications it would have on future business at other hotels in their chain.

Prior to working in hospitality technology, I sailed the 7 seas as an officer onboard the highest rated ship within a particular cruise line’s fleet. Being positioned as the highest rated cruise ship was an accolade achieved from always insisting on consistency among our fine crew and continually striving to make improvements, which would exceed our guests’ expectations.

Looking at how to gain repeat customers from both a consumer’s and property operator’s perspective, it is apparent that delivering innovative products and services of consistent quality and performance will always be a key factor when wishing to establish strong long-term partnerships in any industry.
Arild Aastad
Vice President, Key Accounts