Look who got all personal with me in my Hotel room.
I found myself at the most impersonal of all places a few weeks ago . . . an airport hotel. It was a Courtyard Marriott, which prides itself on being a cookie cutter duplicate of all the other Courtyards . . . simple, clean, and mostly without character.
Except for one thing.
This Courtyard, in West Palm Beach, had a very smart cookie in charge.
Take a look at the photo in this blog. That’s a little laminated welcome letter. Go on, click on it to make it bigger. If you can’t read it, it includes phrases like, “. . . make your stay a perfect one,” and “I am directly responsible for the room . . . ” and ” . . . take pride in its presentations,” and my favorite, ” . . . exceed your expectations.”
And at the end of the letter it wasn’t signed, “The Staff of the Courtyard,” or even, “Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriot.”
It was signed, “Rebecca S. Gabriel, General Manager,” and it gave her direct dial number.
What I loved about the letter was that it assigned a name . . . a name and a person that was within walking and calling distance of my room. It was someone just a phone call away who cared about what I was about to experience at their establishment.
Rebecca S. Gabriel got personal. And that reach out meant a lot.
A lot of regional theaters have welcome messages from Artistic Directors and Managing Directors, which I’ve always loved (of course, their strategy is laced with the desire to seek donations). But why don’t Broadway theaters and Off Broadway theaters have welcome messages from the Producers of the shows on their stages. . . or why not a welcome message from the theater owners themselves? Wouldn’t it be cool and interesting to see a note from Jimmy Nederlander welcoming you to one of his theaters? Or one from the Shuberts? (I know I’ll be having one at our new theater!)
Theaters, like a lot of airport hotels, aren’t the most comfortable places on earth. So adding a little personality to them can go a long way. Because when a company gets personal, a consumer feels more taken care of. And when a consumer feels taken care of . . . they want to come back and back again.
This blog was written from another Courtyard Marriott in another city.
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