My husband and I recently stayed in a hotel in which markets itself on its excellent service and that is, in fact, what we received during our stay.  Reception, restaurant, concierge and other staff were all friendly and helpful.

However, when it was time to leave for the airport, the automated checkout was down and the line at Reception too long, so we left without the itemized bill, knowing it would be put on our credit card and we could review it later.

When I called for a copy, I was routed to the Accounts Receivable department and put on hold for about five minutes. I was then connected with an employee who fulfilled my request, but with an  attitude that was borderline rude — I didn’t have my confirmation number, so earned an exasperated sigh, then perfunctory treatment.  The service was absolutely not of the same caliber as that offered by the hotel’s staff that is more frequently customer-facing.

Company executives and marketers use the phrase “brand values”, and most are careful to ensure that all usual brand touchpoints – advertising, customer service, packaging, online presence, etc., reflect those values.  However it is equally important that internal branding efforts be consistent throughout the company – ALL employees need to exhibit the core brand values.  In the hotel’s case, those one of those core values would be excellent, friendly service and this particular employee was clearly not on the bus!

Defining and buying into the company and brand values should be a shared process – a key part of orientation and training for new employees, but also ongoing with existing employees.  Each employee will encounter current and potential customers, both at work or on their own time, and those customers do associate them with your brand.

We have so many choices in hotels – and I will be staying elsewhere next time!


Tracey Nelson, Co-Founder, Principal
Maven Marketing Solutions