Another travel based post, but I am doing a lot lately and it does give the opportunity to reflect on experiences as a customer.
The latest trip is to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and I have to say I have been treated exceptionally at the hotel by everyone I come into contact with…
– The concierge and doormen greet me with a smile
– The waiters know to add pepper to my morning poached eggs and to bring and extra tea bag, they know my ‘usual’ drink at dinner (sparkling water)
– The restaurant manager makes sure I am up to speed on the cricket scores (and let me watch the last overs of a T20 at his computer)
– The gym guy lets me put the music up loud
– The drivers try to take me through traffic as fast as they can (not always the experience I am looking for!)
– The cleaning and maintenance staff all acknowledge me and say good morning.
– The butler even turns the bed down and cleans my shoes.
I’m thrilled and should be delighted with the whole Customer Experience… but I’m not. There is a ‘hygiene factor’ spoiling the whole thing.
Now I don’t mean a cleanliness issue, the place is spotless. I’m referring to ‘hygiene’ in a way aligned to the Hertzberg motivational theory that states that despite any amount of positive influences if there is a negative or demotivational factor the positives will not come into play, an individual or team cannot be motivated. As such they need to be dealt with and ‘cleaned up’, hence ‘hygiene’. In this case I cannot be delighted because of the internet…
Every couple of days just as I am thinking what a great place to be, and thoroughly enjoying my stay, the effect is ruined when I am prompted on picking up my phone or tablet to look at emails or see what is going on in the world to sign in and purchase internet access.
It seems bizarre that despite offering all the elements outlined about (and more) that this is now a service to be charged. Of course all the other services are charged in the overall bill but why is internet different? I would understand if it was food I drink I was consuming, there is a variable cost attached to this, but why charge extra for a seemingly fixed cost service? Indeed why go to the effort of making it work that way? Yes charge for it, of course the hotel is there to make money, but cover it in the main bill. Indeed, why not present me with a gold card giving my PIN for unlimited access and along with the excellent service, top food, comfy beds and panoramic views, make it a positive rather than a negative.
This is the irony of hygiene factors in both people motivation and customer experience, they act as demotivators/detractors but sort them out and they often have a motivational or positive effect.
So the question is, in your carefully considered and mapped out customer experience journey (you do this right?), what are the factors that could be hygiene factors and holding back the customer delight? Deal with these and you will have advocates and potential customers for life.