by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
I read an interesting post last week written by Mark Hurst of Good Experience. In the post, he pins the tail on the donkey by pointing out that even though companies might be using the latest Web 2.0 hotness tools, they are delivering the same old party lines. He then goes on to speak about the dwindling customer experience in the airline and healthcare industries.
As I read that post, I sat in an all-suite Doubletree Suites (owned by Hilton) in Boston, MA, preparing to speak about "viral" marketing at the Business of Community Networking Conference (#BoCN).
I think it's very easy to see how both the industries that Hurst discusses have cut back - and it's even more apparent how these cut-backs have hurt and/or inconvenienced the customer.
What's been, I believe, less discussed are the "disappearing acts" many popular hotel chains have been pulling.
It used to be that you would check into a hotel and you wouldn't have to bring much with you from home except your toothbrush and your clothing. Why is it that we're getting less and less from hotels?
What happened to:
- shoeshine buffer pad thingie
- mini-sewing kit
- cotton swabs
- cotton balls
- a FULL SIZE bar of soap for the shower
- extra blankets
- extra pillows
- stationery (to write home, of course!)
- even the Bibles are gone!
All of these items have been "disappeared" by various hotel chains almost without a word. Am I the only one who has noticed this?
I can barely get through airport security with my toiletries!
I don't care how many times people mention it, I STILL don't understand to this day, why Best Western, a hotel chain that charges a lower room rate than major chains, can offer free Internet access, whereas Hiltons, Westins, Renaissances, JW Marriotts, etc., will not.
Here's why I'm even mentioning this at all:
For the most part, women travel with more toiletries - traveling for business or not. We just need more...accoutrement, shall we say. And, if, for a major part of the time, we didn't have to draaaaaag as much stuff with us because the hotels were providing it, and now they don't, what message do these hotel chains think they're sending to women travelers?
And, by the by? It might not be related at all, but correct me if I'm wrong...it seems that everyday I check email or catch even a smidge of the news, Paris Hilton and her socialite BFF's are painting the town red at the latest Hollywood or New York hot spot. I mean, am I right? This partying takes money, yes? She IS the heiress to the Hilton fortune, yes? So, please don't tell me that due to the economy, Hilton doesn't have money for lotion. (Just thought I would mention that tidbit.)
*Photo credit to Augusta_Chuck on TripAdvisor.com. Notice the lack of toiletries on the bathroom counter?