I’ve been coming to Brisbane for work once a week now for about eight weeks I guess and for the last seven of those, I’ve stayed at this really nice new hotel called the Capri By Fraser in the middle of the city. The hotel has a very cool vibe and because it is relatively new with a great fit out, it’s very modern and comfortable for a business traveller.
I was pretty excited to come this week because the hotel is on the corner of Albert Street and Mary Street and I read that this intersection was going to be blocked to cars for the next few days because Marvel and Disney are filming part of the next Thor movie on those streets. I was pretty excited because, with my stunning good looks, leading man charm and undeniable charisma, I knew it would only be a matter of time before the Director or a producer saw me wandering around and would decide to rewrite the script to create a leading role for me.
Needless to say, when I got my travel booking for this trip on Friday last week and saw that I was staying at a different new hotel, I was a bit disappointed. Aside from the obvious potential setback for my inevitable movie career as a leading player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’d come to like the hotel. The people at the front desk knew me, always had my room ready for early check-in and last week when it wasn’t ready, they gave me a free upgrade to get me settled in early.
Basically, aside from the proximity to Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston this week, that hotel had won me over with their high-quality service and commitment to customer satisfaction.
The hotel I’m staying in is a bit closer to the office, but realistically we’re talking a difference about a difference of fewer than 200 yards – they’re both a two-minute walk to the office. Online it had nice pictures of an outdoor pool/bar area that I wouldn’t use and the rooms looked pretty good. It too had been recently refurbished entirely, so I figured it would be fine, albeit not quite as close to where Thor was hanging out.
As soon as my taxi pulled up, I was impressed. A bellhop was there to grab my bags and lead me to reception. At the reception, there was a young lady who walked up to greet me and checked me on her iPad. The whole thing took about a minute, which considering it was my first time here, that was impressive.
She told me my room was ready (I arrive at 9am, so that’s a very early check-in) and told me where everything was in the hotel. Then she said, “All guests are entitled to four free items from the minibar each day during their stay.” That piqued my curiosity – nice touch and really convenient because I like a bottle of water when I sleep, but who can say “no” to a bag of chips and a Pepsi after a long day?
I get up to my room and it’s quite nice. It actually has a very open plan feel to it and because the hotel was entirely refurbished eighteen months ago, it’s all relatively new and modern. Like the other hotel I stay in, the attention to detail is really strong – in an era where Airbnb is starting to dominate, hotels need to do the little things well and win on service.
But it gets so much better.
I’m totally a nerd and in my room is a Samsung phone on a wireless charger that literally controls EVERYTHING in the room. The air con temperature, the TV, the “do not disturb” sign, the lights, I can order room service with it and I can use it as a phone. The technology integration had me very excited.
Then there are the little touches around the room.
My favourite one is all the little business cards scattered around the room with short little descriptions on them. For example, one next to the nightstand tells me that I don’t need to checkout, I can just leave the card keys in the room tomorrow and go, but if I want to say goodbye to them and checkout traditionally, then that’s ok too.
Everything about this hotel is about providing a quality service. There are plenty of staff around to offer help 24/7, the furnishings and fittings are great and the restaurant downstairs in the lobby makes very good, unpretentious food which is something I appreciate.
They aren’t trying to win on price, they are trying to win on service and the quality of their offering. That’s a great lesson for anyone running a business, especially those of us who are doing it part time without huge staff numbers or big advertising budgets.
You don’t necessarily have to compete on price by racing to the bottom and you don’t need to use tricks like false scarcity or stupid levels of hyperbole. You can build your business around putting together a great quality offering, with exceptional attention to detail and delivered at a fair price. You don’t need to con people into doing business with you, you can offer something superior delivered in a better way.
This kind of business might be slower to build, but it is infinitely more sustainable and ultimately easier to run in the long term. Once you start getting some traction with customers, then your quality of service will become your best selling point and the differentiator that sets you apart – the exceptional service that you deliver will be the thing that generates referrals and turns your customers into your biggest advocates which is the best advertising and promotion you can ever have in your business.
Delivering a better service will be the thing that helps you beat your competition.