Since I travel a ton, I stay in a lot of hotels. All different kinds, shapes, colors and brands. Each being a little different, and yet, strangely the same. My routine is pretty much the same, too. I almost always get to a hotel at night, hopefully with enough time to go eat somewhere.
When I get to my room, I always turn on the TV for background noise, find a place for my suitcase, unpack the things that need to not be wrinkled, put my shaving kit in the bathroom and then sit down to write… or channel surf for two minutes before I realize what I always realize – there’s really never anything good on a hotel TV.
I set two alarms: a wake-up call and the in-room alarm clock. Why? The first time you only set one and it doesn’t work, you’ll understand. Going to bed is all about finding which of the four pillows on the bed will work. Hopefully they aren’t all the kind that the second you touch them, they deflate like a soufflé.
Since I set two alarms, I always set the clock alarm for 10 minutes before the wake-up call. I know what you’re thinking… that’s so I have 10 minutes on the snooze button. Actually, it gives me a little time to wake up, and I use that time for prayer. I’m not sure if God understands anything I say at that moment, but it’s the thought that counts…right?
I stopped using caffeine to wake me up a long time ago. So sometimes it takes me a little longer to get my senses going. But nothing helps that more than a great shower. And you always hope that you have a great shower. As you reach for the faucet, you have that fear, Is this going to be a 10-year-old, water-saving shower head?
Exiting the shower is one of the most crucial parts of the morning for me. Again, I’m still not really awake. But I turn the shower off, slide open the curtain which lets the steam out, and reach for a fresh, clean, fluffy white towel. My whole life I have had a habit that the first thing I do is take both hands and dry off my face. I’ve done it so long that I don’t think I could ever change that habit.
So, I take the towel, put it to my face, and BAM! There it is! The smell of grease! Yep, since it’s a hotel, and it has a kitchen, they have a tendency to wash their room towels with the kitchen towels that were used to wipe up all of the used grease. Ugh! Well, I’m awake now!
Every time it happens, I think to myself, Stop smelling the towels! No. Actually, I think to myself that the people who run hotels must not take showers in hotels. Now, I’m not saying that they should leave home every day, come to work, find an empty room, and take a shower. I’m just saying that if they would experience their hotel a few times a year like we do, surely they would realize that there’s a funk among the towels. Then they could simply…change the process.
What areas of your business have you not experienced from the customer’s point of view? Take the time to walk in your customers’ footsteps. You just might be surprised by what you find.