Am I Booking dot Wrong?


There’s always renewed hope in a new year. Good for that.

How will corporations, organisations, teams, leaders and managers step up in 2016?


Well that depends on lots of things of course!

  • What do we mean by stepping up?
  • Where are they now and where are they hoping to get?
  • How quickly will they return to doing what they typically do? (The same old, same old)

My Naivety

My hope for this year is that more organisations will set-up up or get better at the fundamentals to create a genuinely excellent customer experience (for their internal and external customers) including

  • Have a clear vision (Compelling that everyone can buy into)
  • Have a vision that is joined up – no silos
  • Have clearly defined values (that everyone is engaged by) and can deliver on
  • Create an emotional connection to their customers through their values and people
  • Help their people support and deliver the values through well-defined performance standards

The trouble with this list is it’s easy to agree to but far more difficult to implement.

Is it too naïve of me to hope that more organisations can implement these essential building blocks? It often seems that way.

The Bad Move in Basingstoke

I use regularly for 99% of my hotel and apartment reservations. Spending several thousands each year with them. They give me an extra discount for my frequency/spend.

Do they want to keep me as a life long customer? I guess it’s in their interest to do so and so far I’ve never had anything to complain about their service.

100% of it’s customer engagement (with me) is digital, on line and through apps and in their contact with me its all worked very well. In my opinion they have it sorted!

They seem to deliver a strong vision, underpinned by sound values and deliver these standards to me in our relationship.

The big test comes when we hit a bump in the customer experience road, which this week we have.

The BSA Apartments Skyline Plaza (A large set of modern apartments in Basingstoke town centre)

I booked a one-night stay through and received a follow up email from the proprietors that said that I had to check in before 8pm.

I responded stating my long business travel that day would have me check a couple of hours later.

No problem just pay us £25 was their response!

Had I missed something when booking?

  • Was it made plainly clear to me such a stringent condition just prior to payment?
  • Was this a deliberate deception on their part or to not make this abundantly clear? (Especially as technically I was now outside of the refund policy)

I asked these questions to BSA Skyline and they responded with

  • “This is our policy”
  • “Check in times are clearly stated on the website”

Connecting to Customers Through Language

I was interested in the language they’d chosen. Especially as we know this effects the perception of a brand.

“This is our policy” – I had hoped that organisations would have improved such responses after Little Britain so cleverly observed its flaws with the sketch, “The computer says no”.

Its 2016 and organisations are still using this!

Is this really a part of their well-defined vision, values and performance standards?

“Check in times are clearly stated on the website” – Of course I double-checked my possible error. I was confident that nothing had been flagged for me just before I hit the pay button so I went back and made ‘another booking’.

Low and behold there isn’t anything obvious or clear – in fact I couldn’t find anything that clearly states their ‘must in bed by 8pm policy’. And certainly not before you part with your cash!

So here’s the question, why would BSA and not make it clear to people before hitting the pay button?

After 22 years of constant business travel and far too many hotels and apartments I have never come across such a restriction.

We can all guess the answer, because people might be less inclined to book/spend money with them.

What does this say about the truth of their vision, values and performance standards?

I wondered if these organisations have chosen values such as

  • Trust
  • Transparency
  • Confidence
  • Integrity
  • Dependable
  • Committed
  • Respectful

If they have their vision and performance standards are not joined up.

If you would value a no obligation discussion about aligning vision, values with outstanding performance standards that create a truly genuine customer experience get in touch here

  • Quote-background

    What does this say about the truth of their vision, values and performance standards?

    Glenn Bracey,
    Future Vision Training Ltd,
    11th January 2016


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