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How B&Bs have overcome hotels’ guest satisfaction mistakes
In a recent article appearing on Yahoo! Travel, author Rosemary McClure summed up why travelers are fed up with hotels. We in the B&B industry read the story with a snicker, realizing that the very advice the article outlined for hotels from the annual J.D. Power & Associates report on hotel guest satisfaction is exactly what innkeepers already know and are already delivering. According to the article, Jessica McGregor, senior account manager in the global travel and hospitality practice for J.D. Power said “It’s not enough to raise rates and offer the same service as before. They (i.e. hotels) need to make sure they have service-oriented staffs that will treat guests better and personalize their stays.” Personalized service is the mainstay of every B&B’s mission and is what has defined them as the better way to stay. Check any of the Better Way To Stay videos measuring B&Bs against hotels, and if it isn’t already clear, it soon will be. Then, if you’re still a doubter, check B&B reviews on TripAdvisor , BedandBreakfast.com and BnBFinder.com time and time again you’ll read glowing reviews about how friendly service sets inns and B&Bs apart from hotels.
The Yahoo! Travel story went on to explain that McGregor said the thing that angers hotel guests most, however, is the Internet, which she described as a flashpoint for today’s travelers. As the J.D. Powers Hotel Guest Satisfaction Report shows and we in the B&B industry realized long ago, guests want wi-fi in their hotel rooms and don’t want to be charged for it. They also want it to work well. This is why 96% of inns and B&Bs offer complimentary wi-fi to innkeepers according to the Professional Association of Innkeepers International surveys.
Yet, hotels are notorious for nonworking wi-fi, even though they charge a daily fee for access. “Band-width is a continuing problem,” says McGregor. “Hotel staff members can’t tell people in the morning that they can’t shower because there’s no hot water left. They can’t tell people after dinner that there’s no Internet because a lot of people are online then.” Chalk yet another advantage up for B&Bs – you won’t find 200 users logging on at the same time and using up all the bandwidth.
While some travelers want predictability, the trend today is toward unique lodging properties exceeding expectations. Thus it comes as no surprise to us in the B&B industry that Drury, a family-owned group of 120 hotels in the Midwest and South, came out on top of the J.D. Powers Guest Satisfaction survey. The chain’s motto is “The extras aren’t extra” and guests can depend on free hot breakfasts, wi-fi and an early-evening gathering with hot appetizers and beverages. Guess what? That’s exactly what you’ll find the next time you visit a B&B. While the free refreshments may come 24-7 in guest pantries, or in afternoon or evening refreshments, the hot breakfasts will be personalized to meet any dietary restrictions and the wi-fi is free! The reason travelers like Drury is because they’re seeking the B&B experience and Drury hotels come as close as a chain, cookie-cutter designed hotel room can come.
Whether you’re Pro-Doily or No Doily, we know if you’re reading this you’re Pro-B&B and we hope you will share it with your fellow travelers who keep looking for the B&B experience in a hotel. Give it up! Go for the real personalized experienced and the better way to stay.
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