One of the businesses I’m involved with is Hotel de Vie: a small boutique style hotel, of just 8 en-suite rooms.
Obviously I’ve taken countless steps to try and ensure we provide the best accommodation we can provide (and just last week, it finally took it’s rightful place as the number 1 guest accommodation in the Farnham area, according to the independent review website TripAdvisor.)
The hotel already provides various things for free, that many other hotels charge a premium for, ie a range of snacks, chocolates, fruits, fruit juices, yogurts, cheeses, biscuits, mineral waters, broadband WiFi, toiletries, freshly cooked breakfasts, etc.
I’m also very fortunate (after much selection and training) to have some really great staff who treat each guest as an individual (ie not just another room booking), they’re also always professional, and friendly at the same time, and of course great at their job.
We already have a good working relationship with a local taxi firm (they are our default choice of recommendations for all our guests).
We also have one of our regular guests (who’d stayed at virtually every other hotel in the area, before finding us, and now stays with us whenever she’s in the area), who also had a good relationship with this taxi firm prior to staying with us too.
This particular guest made a mention to me, during her last stay some months earlier, how she particularly enjoyed one of our organic teas. So when re-ordering, I added an extra box of tea for her (costing me £2.59).
She came and stayed with us again in early September for a couple of days, and I’m sure that the ‘thoughtful gesture of her favourite tea’ (that she’s also not been able to find herself) encouraged her to share her happiness about the hotel, with the taxi driver again.
This same day, the same driver was picking up one of his other longer term international clients (who’s been visiting the area on and off for years). That particular guest was complaining that morning about his current accommodation to the taxi firm, who I’m sure prompted by this conversation with our other regular guest, recommended my hotel…
A couple of phone calls later, and that guest was booked in to stay for nearly one and a half months, for over £3,500 of new business to the hotel!
There are countless fables and stories about ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’, ‘the mouse and the giant turnip’, etc. In the hotel’s case.. it was a box of tea!
The hotel has also just experienced it’s busiest month since taking over 13 months ago, and it’s busiest week yet (and there’s not even a major event going on in the area!)