I recently read that Marriott Hotels had made a design decision to remove desks from their hotel rooms.
In this day and age of social media, this decision quickly became viral as more and more business travelers attempted to sit cross-legged on a bed, conducting their work, with great difficulty. Marriott was called upon this decision by their travelers through blogs and other forms of social media. One thread even had 337 posts all expressing very negative sentiments.
Marriott justified this decision based upon their research on millennials and their love of small technology. While small technology is fast becoming the latest and greatest trend, many a business person still travels with their laptop. Let’s face the main fact. It’s almost impossible to work on an excel spreadsheet or write a report on your hand-held device.
I have been a loyal Marriott corporate customer. The rooms feel like they are designed for business people, with good lighting, and a great desk and chair. I can’t imagine staying with them and not having a desk in my room. Somehow, expecting me to bend over a coffee table in a yoga pose to write, just doesn’t work for me. After a day on my feet, it also doesn’t appeal to me. Besides, my body doesn’t bend the way it used to.
So, what’s the lesson here for business owners? Face it, companies are often called upon to bend or change the rules. If one customer screams loudly enough that they don’t like something, or a trend is demanding we adjust, is it necessarily right for our business? We need to slow down and ask ourselves some impactful questions.
- Is it the right time to change?
- What’s the cost back to our business if we do?
- Take the time to examine the trend and align it with your company. Know your customer. What do they love about your company? What do they expect every time?
- If we change, what are the consequences?
- Would we make anyone unhappy?
- If we do have unhappy customers, what are we going to do about it?
The biggest lesson here? Don’t tick off your loyal customers. They might forgive, but they won’t ever forget.
You can read the CBC article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/marriott-hotels-desk-rooms-business-traveller-concerns-1.3398322.