I was at Eddie Izzard’s “Great Expectations” show last week (absolutely brilliant, highly recommended).
In days gone by, I’d likely have rushed out of the theatre to catch the last train home, but I’ve got to the age where that feels much more like trial than adventure, so I booked a hotel room close by and decided to make a “mini break” of it.
Having had some pretty lacklustre hotel experiences recently, I decided to go back to basics and plump for a Travelodge.
They’re not glitzy, they’re not glamorous, but you know what you’re getting, the beds are comfortable, and – obviously – they’re at the more affordable end of the spectrum.
Anyway, I got to the reception, gave them my name, and they tapped one key on the computer, pulled up my booking, and handed over the key.
Job done – the process probably took 20 seconds.
That might sound unremarkable, but in reality, having stayed in quite a few ‘higher end’ hotels recently, a quick check-in is rarer than hens’ teeth.
You know how it is:
You arrive, there’s a huge queue to get to the desk, and when it’s your turn, you can see why – there’s an endless amount of tapping on the computer, forms are printed and handed to you to fill in with information you’ve already given them, and the whole process probably takes ten minutes, or longer.
A place that prides itself on luxury and opulence and on leaving no stone unturned, delivering a less-than-premium experience, right at the start of your stay.
It’s not just a problem with hotels – plenty of other businesses simply don’t get the basics right.
They’ll design a snazzy new website, and then fail to optimise it, so no one finds it.
They’ll spend hours creating an amazing looking brochure, but don’t build their list, so they’ve got no one to send it to.
You wouldn’t build a house without foundations, and the same is true in business – get the basics and fundamentals right first, and then you can go from there.
How are your foundations looking?