When to act as if you have only one customer

14 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

When to act as if you have only one customer

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Thanks for the reminder, I came to this pc to set next year's graduation weekend stipulations. EVERY FLIPPIN' YEAR WE GET SHAFTED. I am going to change it up, big time. BYE!

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Thanks for the reminder, I came to this pc to set next year's graduation weekend stipulations. EVERY FLIPPIN' YEAR WE GET SHAFTED. I am going to change it up, big time. BYE!

I get this completely. We don't have the same trouble with graduation but we do have it with one other weekend. ALL the hotels have a 3-night min in the summer for visiting weekends at summer camp. Learjet-flying parents will pay for 3 nights THERE and only stay one, but HERE? No way. They try to nickel & dime us. 'Oh, 2 night min? OK, we'll take it.' 2 days later? 'Oh, sorry, we really can't stay 2 nights, just cancel Saturday.' No. Cancel both or neither. 'But we don't need Saturday and everyone else is booked for Friday.' Hmmm, and whose problem is this? Not mine.

On and on and on.

I had one get really snotty with me when I allowed the one night cancellation. 'I thought you said it was a 2-night min.' Yeah, but I have a waiting list of people happy to take one night. Win-win, right? No. The sarcasm flowed. You'd think HELPING someone would garner a thank you! They never came back.

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

I wonder can we then extrapolate that backwards to 'when to focus on one customer like there are hundreds'?

In instances where, even tho 'policy' is the dirtiest word in customer relations, we have to build our policies to head off the hundreds of (cancelers, smokers, child-sneaking, pet-sneaking) bad guests.

Yes I get them but my policies are pretty simple. Not completely hard and fast like the guest who arrived 2 hours early today while I was painting and I still asked her in (she's older and had just driven 600 miles by herself to get here), but some that I won't budge on like smoking and going in my kitchen.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Instead of re-writing policies because of ONE PITA, stay cool. That may be the ONLY one of those you will ever see - unless you are Maddie.

Proud Texan's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/30/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

Instead of re-writing policies because of ONE PITA, stay cool. That may be the ONLY one of those you will ever see - unless you are Maddie.

PITAs have helped us tweak our policies numerous times because they bring to our attention details that we had overlooked.  Most of our policies are designed to make our life easier and to keep the drama to a minimum.  

Of course, a vast majority of our guests never read our policies or just skim read them, which is why we re-emphasize key policies on the reminder letter they receive three days before arrival.

We have also learned that it is easier to decline a reservation or send someone packing with a refund than it is to put up with their crap for several days.  We often tell potential customers that "We might not be the best fit for you" then make a recommendation for  an alternative lodging.  Our mental health and life take precedence over some whiney idiot's imagined crisis.

If innkeeping is a lifestyle choice, which it is, do it on your own terms or you'll be miserable.

Iris's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/08/2009

yep, it took us a couple of seasons, but we have "weeded out" all those folks that don't really fit in here.  Now it is just wonderful, the guests, for the most part, have become friends. I see them sitting together out on the lawn or even making arrangements to spend the day together in the dunes.  Long story short, it is much easier to refer the guests that you don't desire, to another property.  They will be happier and so will the guests that are staying with us.

__________________

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..."
Mark Twain

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

I'm curious about the process of 'weeding out'. What do you do? We always end up with some real doozies every year. What weeded out the worst was when a HGI opened up around the corner. But we still get a few every year.

Iris's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/08/2009

First let me remind you that we do not operate a B&B.  We have cottages which are very close to my home. When we came here, our twins were 16 months old and that set the tone for what sort of guest we were comfortable with. I would not have hesitated to close the business down had this not worked for us

You can hear it on the phone if someone fits in. When people sounded too rough around the edges and asked certain questions (do you have a pool, can we have this, can you provide that, etc.) and the tone in which these questions were asked, we knew that we could not make them happy.  I don't need the money that bad that I risk having someone here that cannot be happy to be here. And we actually tell them that we feel that we cannot make them happy and give them suggestions as to where to try their luck.

We send away a good many people each year who want to stay with us and can't because we are booked solid.  Hence, I can't afford to have unhappy guests.  Besides, it would be selfish of me to have them stay here and  "ruin" their trip because I did not care what it was they were looking for. 

For that exact reason I always stayed away from an online reservation system. This is our first summer with reskey and I hope that it works for us in that respect. You cannot hear what people are saying and how they are saying it Eye-wink

Also, I feel that the verbiage on our website conveys exactly who we are, even without too many restrictions/policy items. I made sure that the pictures are of a decent size, that the info is short and succinct and hopefully it keeps the riff-raff at my competition

 

 

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

We get a lot of online reservations but I don't think they're any worse than people I talk to. We're not turning people away so we end up taking a lot of 'iffy' calls to pay the bills. It's odd which ones turn out to be the doozies.

We had a bridal shower last weekend and they were lovely. I worried a little, but not too much. Told them when they checked in that if strippers were on the agenda they had to ring the bell and invite me, too. They cleaned up everything, took out the trash and were totally respectful to the point they all crammed into one room to chat instead of taking the living room over.

However, that DID come about by really listening to her on the phone when she called. She didn't sound flaky or like this was going to be a drunken blowout. And I checked a few times while the party was going on to be sure they didn't 'need anything'. Keeping my oar in as it were.

Kept the other guests informed that this was a short-lived party, made sure they had 'private dining' for breakfast to keep them out of the scrum and just took care of everyone.

Still, the doozies do get by the radar!

Iris's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/08/2009

True, my radar isn't always perfect.  Interesting which guest turns out great that you may have had a strange feeling about.  Ugh, the people business is a tough one

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Exactly what my hubby said when I wanted to "stick to the rules"   He always said Why cause yourself the grief? Accept their cancellation...don't charge them....Give em refund or whatever and be  done with it.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

We can add that to the innkeeper glossary of terms:

"PITA Tweaker"

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

HEY!

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

You do seem to get the winners!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.