I was on a two day course last week and stayed overnight in a strictly average hotel. I checked-in at reception when I got there in the morning, was given directions to the room, but couldn’t actually go to my room because it was still being cleaned. I didn’t pay much attention to the directions I was given, because I knew my room was still being cleaned. All I remember was that the room was up two flights of stairs.
I didn’t actually pick up my keys until about 6pm. My room number was 240.
I went up the first set of stairs and at the top I was faced with three signs: Rooms 118-142 to the right, and to the left rooms 152-178 and 240-241.
I naturally go towards the sign showing 240. I go through a set of doors and am faced with a further two signs this time with doors going off in different directions. Unfortunately, neither sign has 240 on it. I try the left hand door first, no luck. So faced with the only alternative left I go through the door to the right. After a few steps I find a sign for room 240, indicating that I have to go up another flight of stairs and at the top is room 240.
The question I asked myself is this: Why hold my hand so far, only to let it go when it matters? Where’s the logic in that?
It was the end of the day for me, and the last thing I wanted was to have to think where my room might be. I am a customer. I’m stupid at the best of times (but that doesn’t mean you can patronise me). Please think for me. Don’t ask me or expect me to think, especially if you have started leading the way. Please make sure the experience works the whole way through because it’s usually the small things, the things that we gloss over, the things that we’ve seen so many times we become blind to, that make the difference.