In his latest blog, Sean looks at customer service excellence in the hospitality sector.
Recently, a discussion in the office turned to the number of hotels we have visited since Ethos public relations was founded in 1998.
Over these 17 years we must have stayed at hundreds of hotels, both for business and pleasure.
We have stayed in budget hotels to get our heads down after a long business meeting; big conference venues in Brussels, Prague, Berlin and Birmingham, to name but a few; small bed and breakfasts with friendly owners, and corporate chains with less than friendly temporary (and overworked) staff.
It didn’t take long before we started comparing the various stays and, rather than focusing on the negatives of any particular stay, we thought about the top three hotels we had stayed at.
Now, the results, which we tweeted recently, are not very scientific. There was not a tick box questionnaire, review website or analysis of value for money, but rather we thought about the best overall experience in a hotel.
Before we repeat the results, it’s true to say that we cannot recall staying in any really awful hotels. It’s true we have experienced bed bugs, bins being emptied at 6am, reservations cock-ups, loud guests and un-adjustable heating/air conditioning but, in general, hotels and their staff are very capable.
— Ethos PR (@EthosPR) April 16, 2015.
Our shortlist of our top three hotels in the world – yes we know that’s terrible PR hype – is: the Gran Melia Victoria in Palma, Mallorca, the Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire and The Hadley Park Hotel in Wellington, Shropshire.
In many ways these hotels couldn’t be more different. One looks over the Mediterranean, another the Manchester Ship Canal and the third is surrounded by a business park.
But the similarity is in their focus on customer service, or at least as we received it. Public relations, we always tell our clients, is about the way customers and guests perceive you and the experience they receive when interacting with your business.
In these three hotels we have received customer service that made us feel valued, as though the employees of the hotels really enjoyed our visit. Now of course we know the hospitality industry spends a fortune on guest customer service training and the service we received might be down to that. But somehow, I think it is down to something much more basic. I think these hotels employed nice people. And that is worth so much more than corporate brand, stunning location, posh grub or free wi-fi.