So often we think about the don’t haves vs. do haves. I used to say this all the time, “If I had this __________ I could compete so much better in the marketplace.” Both personally and professionally we’ve all worked hard and sacrificed to get that “I don’t have” thing, just to find out that once you have gotten it, there’s an entire new set of challenges.
Reality check – there is always going to be newer, shinier, and cooler stuff others will have that you don’t.
That being said, when the time comes to get cooler, newer, shiner stuff for your property, decisions have to be made prior to the start of the renovation.
The first and foremost: Are we going to tell our guests prior to arrival that there are exciting improvements on the horizon that we want them to know about? Or should you not tell the guest during the reservation process because you are concerned that potential and repeat revenues will be scared off to your competition?
This is an ownership or senior management decision – the correct answer will become clear if you can answer the following questions:
- Are you willing to give your team the tools to cope with the variety of service disruptions that a renovation of any size can and will create?
- Future Reservations - How to “sell the excitement” about the new and positive changes during the renovations process and how to reinforce this excitement during the guest stay.
- Create interest using a multitude of social platforms to keep all informed.
- Open lines of communication for your guest to become part of the process – voicing their opinions both positive and negative.
- Update everything everywhere; from room descriptions to photos of what the final product will look like to your website and OTA networks.
- Is the service culture across departmental lines at the level where the positives or legendary acts of service will offset the occasional aches and pains of change?
- Are you willing to add or modify resources, amenities, and create temporary alternatives to overcome guest objections due to normal services temporarily being reduced or not available?
- Are you able to implement “temperature check” techniques throughout the guest stay, in a much more strategic manner then simply asking at check-out, “How was your stay”?
- Do your employees have adequate problem solving skills and specific empowerment guidelines to ensure success?
If the answer is “Yes” to the questions above it means you are ready to move forward. If your answer to the questions was “No,” and you want to take your chances that “this too will pass,” you are not yet ready! Whether you are informing your guests before or after their reservations are made, both you and your employees need to be prepared to handle communicating how the renovation will impact your guest.
If you have decided to move forward – here’s what you need to know…
It boils down to “Pure Value.” I like the word “pure” because it’s simple, and immediately makes you think of clean and new. In the sales arena keeping your value pure is a really good thing. Pure value is deadly powerful! If used correctly it maximizes positive results and will give guests a reason to take a chance to become part of something new.
Quick formula for successfully creating value during renovations:
- Be relevant to the potential – Have a compelling reason Why you believe the changes will not impact their stay. Focus your energy on the guest’s success both personally and corporately (the WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – of old still holds true).
- State what qualifies you as an expert – How you plan on making these changes and how excited you are about ensuring the guest satisfaction during these times of change.
- Communicate – What needs to be conveyed based on the reason of travel to get to the next step in the reservations process?
So, if you are still stuck in the how you do it or why training your team is important to ensure revenue successes during this exciting period of change, start by looking at the structure of your benefit statements, elevator stories, pitches, etc. Make them pure and include value to your goals. This is a well tested approach to the pains of change and has proven to work time and time again!