I’m travelling in Texas with David Martin of yesterday’s story about Mercer Hall Inn. Today the Holiday Inn in Austin Texas just blew any built up customer experience equity with Dave. Let me explain. We have been here for a three day course at the Wizard Academy and staying at the Holiday Inn. I stay there all the time I’m in Austin. It’s not expensive, it’s well located and totally unpretentious. Dave and I have stayed there before and felt pretty good about staying there again.
Dave wanted to call home from his room and before he did, he tried to find out what the price would be for the calls...
Nowhere in any literature or posted any place in the room was there any information on the pricing. Biting the bullet, he decided to call anyway.
Today he got the bill and was shocked to pay $66 for two short calls. The money wasn’t really the issue. It’s not that big a deal. It is the way that he had to find out. If the hotel had been up front that the phone call fees are exorbitant it wouldn’t have been an issue. Here’s what the desk clerk said, “Ya, I made that mistake once too.”
So, even the people who work at the hotel know that long distance phoning from the hotel room is a rip-off. Why don’t they say so up front? It’s the fact that they didn’t make the effort to adequately inform the customer that destroyed all their credibility. Dave let me know this morning that if we ever come back to Austin together, he’ll never stay at the Holiday Inn. They have not created enough Customer Experience Equity with him so that his poor experience in this situation can be overcome.
The service we have received at the Holiday Inn has not been good enough to build enough equity. They have been missing the boat by being just average. Up until now, that was okay because we hadn’t had a poor experience. But once a bad experience happens, you need to have built up some equity with the customer to assist you in keeping them coming back.
So, if the service you’re providing is only average, please consider what it will take in your business category to do something better and build Customer Experience Equity.