I wanted to write a relatively short blog post about simple things that make a BIG difference and why those things can make a HUGE difference digitally
I’ve just returned from a couple of days in beautiful Bradford On Avon and Bath to celebrate my 34th Birthday with Dean!
We chose to stay at Timbrell’s Yard. As regular Mr & Mrs Smith customers, we had received a gift voucher from my parents and sister and her partner and so decided to put it to use and book somewhere for a couple of days away over my birthday, we were not disappointed!
Britain is beautiful and even more beautiful in the sunshine. We were blessed with glorious weather during our stay which meant that for both days, we were able to eat our breakfast outside overlooking the river. Sounds idyllic? It really was!
In fact, pretty much everything about Timbrell’s Yard was idyllic!
BUT, I realised something while travelling on this trip; there are so many ‘small things’ that have the potential to be huge things and equal sales and bookings that many of us (hotels in particular) don’t detail beforehand. It is the people that experience something in person that get to see all those wonderful small details! As someone who has now stayed at Timbrell’s Yard, I am privy to their special points of difference, had I not stayed, I would be none the wiser! If I was just a browser of social media who had not made a booking at Timbrell’s Yard, I wouldn’t know about the cool little quirky things that set them apart!
What if people knew, via social media, the small things that I experienced during my visit to make me a very happy customer?
Would it equal more bookings? I think it would!
Very often, particularly with the travel business we are used to seeing beautiful hotel rooms, stunning scenery, delicious prepared food dishes and if we are lucky, we may get an insight into staff members (although this is rare). What we don’t tend to see, is that ‘point of difference’ the thing that makes a hotel an obvious booking choice.
I would love every hotel to walk in their customers shoes and really ask them what little differences made their stay special. I believe that the little differences are the big unique selling points that they could be sharing socially and creating experiences long before someone chooses to stay with them.
Ok, so back to Timbrell’s Yard.
The hotel itself is beautiful (I highly reccomend it for a couple of nights of cosy luxury and comfort that is just a stones throw away from Bath which is accessible by a very cheap train that is super close to the hotel!) . Everything is crafted to a very high standard as far as decor and fixtures and fittings go, the service from the staff (particularly the younger members of staff) was very good, full of enthusiasm and very helpful. But what stood out as that point of difference at Timbrell’s Yard?
The first thing: They had Ladybird Books on each table in the dining room. This encouraged us to have conversation about the book content (which was pretty funny) rather than conversations that revolved around our mobile phones. As I looked around the dining room couples and families of all shapes and sizes were doing the same.
Nice Touches …
Make it memorable!
This was a great way to bring people together at the dinner table - well done Timbrell’s Yard, loved this quirky touch!
The second thing: fresh milk delivered in a flask and left by your door. No sooner had Dean said he was popping downstairs to get some milk for our morning cuppa, he opened the door and said ‘whats this?’ it was a little flask of milk that they obviously leave daily for that very reason! A very nice and well thought out touch! I want to know this on social media. It may seem small to you Timbrell’s Yard, but it shows me you care and how great you are! It makes you different from your competitors!
The third thing: the crispiest and most delicious bacon I have ever tasted! bar none! Why is this important? well pretty much because everyone offers an English Breakfast and I have tasted a lot on my travels, but when you have the crispiest most delicious bacon that really is something to shout about! Yes you do an English breakfast but you do the best crispy bacon - tell us that part, we want to hear it and see it!
The final thing: the window seats, they were idyllic, absolutely stunning. We had two of them, in our bedroom!
Yes they are a beautiful image to share (from a hotels perspective) however they become way more characterful and relatable when you share personal stories from those windows rather than just images of them. If I was advising Timbrell’s Yard on how to use the windows to their digital advantage, I would be suggesting that they run some kind of user generated content campaign within the hotel.
e.g) Share your #FromTheWindowAtTimbrells story, and we will feature our favourite on our feed! Alongside that, we will pop you into a monthly/quarterly prize draw and the winner of all of our favourite pictures gets a meal for two or a bottle of wine or some kind of incentive that encourages people to take their photos from the windows at Timbrells Yard!
This has a three fold effect.
1.) it helps existing guests to feel like a part of something. If they are involved they feel closer to the brand, making the likelihood of booking to stay again more likely.
2.) It provides content from guests (not just the hotel) so other potential guests see posts from those already staying enjoying themselves. It creates a sense of wanting to experience something similar!
3.) It provides Timbrell’s Yard (or your hotel) with REAL content/stories from REAL people - people relate to real people. Share the heck out of that!
(P.S I’ve shared one here as an example! )
When you have a point of difference, Digitalise the heck out of it, tell those quirky stories that make you the obvious choice. We can see a million bedrooms as we scroll Instagram and Twitter and Facebook but how many table reading books, flasks of milk, crispy bits of bacon and stories from the window do we see? considerably less!
Hotels, listen up. Tell THAT story. We want to see the things that make you different on digital. Not the things that make you a choice amongst many thousands of other hotel bedrooms who are all sharing similar content! If you have a quirky point of difference, don’t just share it with those that stay with you. Share it with those that are yet to stay with you (your social audience) and you may just be their next choice when they are next looking to travel because of it!
To sharing the little things to make a BIG difference!