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The Original FaceTime

Ahh, the daily grind. Monday through Fridays, 9 - 5.

Sound familiar?

Didn't think so, at least not for hospitality professionals.

The hospitality industry is a full time, 24/7-hour job. While you may be “off-the-clock” your customers are still at your property having experiences at every moment.

It’s a unique and challenging profession, filled with silver linings.

Working in the hospitality field gives daily, direct access to something that other fields could only dream of having - its customers. Having this contact at your fingertips is an advantage that should not go untapped. It is an asset that should be part of monthly, if not weekly procedures by the Director of Marketing.

Walking the floors, speaking directly with clients, inviting them to join you for coffee or tea - this face-to-face contact is priceless - and actually costs other industries thousands of dollars annually for customer feedback and research. Others typically have to wait months, or even years for this type of feedback - while we have it at the tips of our fingers.

And while we, as industry professionals may not be capable of listening to every suggestion, our time investment will establish brand loyalty as well as provide a face to the brand for clients. It helps avert crisis. How many times have you read a Trip Advisor review and thought ‘If we knew while they were here we could have fixed it’ - it could be the difference between a 2 and 5 star review. It also gives you the insight to improve the business. We each have access to industry studies and reports, but this firsthand data is actual feedback about your product from your target market. It’s extremely specific to your customer’s experience and should be taken into consideration when planning marketing initiatives and messaging.

Spending time away from your desk during office hours can seem tedious considering the other initiatives that you need to be focused on: monitoring SEM performance, preparing an ad, and planning the social media calendars, for example. And, it can seem that your attention is now spent on crisis aversion and client pleasing, but these quick fixes can have long term positive effects; increased client retention, identifying those customers that are advocates of your brand and a more thorough understanding of the efficacy of your brand promise.

This newfound initiative will have another side effect – more time in and with other departments, departments that probably could use your help. This increased face time will bring valuable, new and unknown discoveries. More often than not we find that the brand standards get diluted when put into practice, at times to the point that they are doing more harm than good. You may notice menus, notes and flyers that will make you wonder if you work at the same organization, but this is valuable and vital information for you to uncover. Take the time to not only correct the brand inconsistencies but also teach the employees not only what to do but WHY they should do it that way.

These insights also give you a front row seat to what the customer is experiencing - –it’s part of the marketing cycle and is just as crucial as the ad space you are investing in. Do not take this for granted.

Managing your time can become one of the most challenging aspects of your job, especially while integrating floor time. Below you’ll find some tips to help you prioritize your priorities: