I dare you. Turn each guest’s visit to your hotel into a story.

This hotel is "fine."

Ok, for the rest of you, allow me to explain. I just spoke to a fine group of hoteliers in Las Vegas. LodgingHost Corporation had me come to Las Vegas to speak to their managers and administrators.

By now, you’d have to live on the far side of the moon to not know by now the hospitality industry is suffering. This economy is making it very hard, and this upcoming winter looks to be another horrible season. (Though there is much hope for Spring.)

We stayed at the Excalibur Casino. It was fine. The rooms were nice. The service was fine. Everything was fine. But as I said to the folks of LodgingHost, in this economy, “fine” is a failure. As Kevin, the president of LodgingHost told us all, “Customer service is everything.” I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve stayed in approximately 800 hotels. And I remember only a handful. And without exception, the ones I remember are the hotels where a somebody of the hotels where somebody created a story for me.

It’s that simple: when there was a story, I remembered it. Otherwise, the hotel was either lousy, or possibly even “fine.” “Fine” equals “forgettable.”

Check out the video, and pay attention to the bribe I offered the folks at LodgingHost.

LodgingHostFirst, the concept: As I told them in Las Vegas, it would be terrific, (but probably impossible) to create a memorable story for EVERY guest. But it IS possible to create a story for some of your guests.

Perhaps you could create one story for one guest every day? (Though my sense is that goal is WAY to lame. If you cannot “make the day” of several of your guests every day you just aren’t trying.)

I challenge you: come up with a technique to create stories for your guests. Maybe it’s hand delivering them a bottle of water. Or going out of your way to…. I don’t know what. But my guess is that you do. In fact, I KNOW that you have ideas how to create these superhero customer service stories.


excalibur hallway

My Bribe: Be one of the first 12 people to leave a comment below about what you will (or are!) doing for your guests to create amazing customer service stories and I’ll send you a gift. Nothing huge, but I’ll make sure it’s cool.

Thanks LodgingHost. It was a total pleasure. I can’t wait to hear your stories.

Do you need a funny motivational speaker to speak to your organization about customer service? I’m your guy. Let’s talk about making your convention or meeting special. Go to the contact page.

Brad Montgomery
Funny Customer Service Speaker, Las Vegas Speaker, And Fan of Creating Stories

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12 replies
  1. Dawn Friedman
    Dawn Friedman says:

    We, at the Holiday Inn Express in Farmington New Mexico, are allowing guest each week to name my fish. The fish is going to get a “hello my name is” sticker that we will laminate and then write his new name in each week. Some may even want to take Jorge to their room but that is optional. Right now many people stop by just to look at him and we get many comments about how he makes it seem a little more like home. This is a work in progress so who knows what it will look like in 3 months but for now I think it will create a story for one person or family each week.

  2. Brad Montgomery
    Brad Montgomery says:

    I LOVE this idea of a “loaner fish.” I’d play it up even more, and use the word “Pet.” It sounds bigger and more fun. I can imagine, “How many keys do you want? A wake up call? Would you like the complimentary use of our loaner pet for the night?” What!? They’ll have to stop and ask, and you’ll have a chance to create the story of the day.

    Dawn, it’s beautiful and terrific! I’d push yourself…. you can create more than one story per week. As Darth Vader says, “Search your feelings, you know it is true.” You can anything you set your mind to. Loaning out a fish? Sooooo great.

    Can’t wait to hear what the fish is finally named.

    Thanks Dawn

  3. Paul Banigan
    Paul Banigan says:

    I am going to use the same concept as “loaner fish” and do “loaner wife”. She will be available to uh…uh. Wait…never mind, that may not work.

    I will get back to you.

  4. Shaunna Grace
    Shaunna Grace says:

    The staff at Hotel Phillips in Bartlesville OK, with Lodging Host Hotel Corp. came up with a way to make a story for our guest. Each guest gets a Scavanger Hunt list at check in, (which changes weekly) of items to find through out the hotel. Once the list is completed the guest turns it in to the Front Desk. The guest receives a free dessert in the restaurant for participating. If the guest has found all the correct items they get the free dessert and get put in a drawing for a special prize at the end of the month.

  5. Brad Montgomery
    Brad Montgomery says:

    That’s terrific Shaunna. Can you give us an example of what they have to hunt for? How involved is it? Cool idea!

  6. Shaunna Grace
    Shaunna Grace says:


    Hotel Phillips is a 156 room historical hotel that is owned by ConocoPhillips. The hotel has a large amount of antiue furniture, photos, paintings and sculptures. The list is comprised of clues for 5 different items in the hotel for the guest to locate. Such as one of the photos is of a little girl and her dog. The clue is there is a little girl and her dog lost in the hotel can you help find her. The idea is to get the guest involved in seeing the entire hotel and its history as they look for the items. The guest can ask the employees for more clues if they get stumped, which gets our team members involved as well. And if we completely run out of items in the hotel for the guest to look for we can just start hidding the soap, shampoo and towels in their room and give them the clues on how to find a towel if they want to take a shower ;-)

  7. Brad Montgomery
    Brad Montgomery says:

    Terrific! I’d love to visit. I love the concept and your idea. But I also love the idea of hiding the soap. (Perhaps hiding (EXTRA) soap so as not to piss off the sense-of–humor-challenged. Maybe offer a prize if they can find ALL 5 SOAPS in the room, but have the traditional 2 bars in the bathroom….so they’d have to hunt for three.

    But yup, that scavenger hunt is fun. Way to go!

  8. Lloyd Quinn
    Lloyd Quinn says:

    We had a guest show up at our hotel, Hampton Inn Livingston, without a reservation. He had stayed with us a month before and our executive housekeeper remembered he needed a box fan. She immediately grabbed a box fan we have in the laundry room for our laundry attendant and placed it in his room… before he even made it to his room. When he went into his room he spotted the fan and called our front desk. He sounded very surprised, excited, and most of all… he felt appreciated. We had anticipated his need and gave him a story he will share with others.

  9. Brad Montgomery
    Brad Montgomery says:

    Lloyd! This is a great story about personal customer service. Here is my challenge to you: how can you make this customer service process so fun that the exec. housekeeper ALWAYS wants to provide that level of service?

    This story is beautiful because it is unique. My question though is: how can you keep it going? How can you turn this into a system or methodology where your staff is ALWAYS looking for ways to “bring them the fan?”

    Nice job!

  10. Lloyd Quinn
    Lloyd Quinn says:

    We will continue to encourage this behavior by using the U Rock rock. The weekly team member with the U Rock rock will get their picture on the wall and be the Rock Star of the week. They will be treated like a Rock Star by the other team members, but without the limo. I also created a behind the scenes story about the rock and how it became the U Rock rock with the power to transform the holder into the Rock Star. The team is excited and they want to be the Rock Star.

    Rock On! And thank you for the idea.

  11. Brad Montgomery
    Brad Montgomery says:

    Now we’re talkin’ baby! I love that you’ve taken the concept of “fun at work” and transferred it into a system of improved customer service. I know…that’s a leap from the U Rock rock, but that’s what makes it so wonderful. Imagine: making others feel good about doing good work with a rock. Lloyd…YOU rock. Way to go dude!

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