Why sometimes you have to ignore the numbers for long term gain
Posted on 19th Jan 2022
I’ went on an event at The Vox near the NEC in Birmingham, when things opened up after a lock down due to the Covid -19 Pandemic. Sometimes you have to ignore the numbers for the greater good of your business…
I’ll tell you more below…
Here’s the response I got…
So, you can imagine my frustration when I received an email out of the blue the day before going to the event. It was from “Guest Relations” for IHG Hotels in the USA. I was due to stay at a hotel near the NEC. All it said really apart from a load of corporate speak was “……The safety of our guests is the number one priority and as one of our steps to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, we would like to advise that the hotel is not available to the public until further notice, thus the cancellation of your reservation…..”
Here’s why it was so damaging
The email went on to say any fees or penalties will be waived and refunded…..I’m sorry penalties but you cancelled not me…
I can only assume that a “Technical” Accountant (yes you heard that right) in Head office somewhere had run the numbers and decided right now the numbers regarding profitability didn’t add up……
Now you know I would be the first to tell my clients to “Know their numbers” and “Make a profit” but sometimes in exceptional circumstances you have to override the numbers and take a bigger picture longer term commercial view.
I get they were not going to be flooded with a full hotel, but they had to open up again, and the goodwill they would have got. They could have harvested so much good publicity and that would have put them in a fantastic position.
We have come through a pandemic that none of us have ever experienced before in business. It has caused the forced closure of thousands of businesses across the world, why would you not open up and take advantage of saying we are here, we are open for business and just think differently.
Businesses who will win
The businesses that have thought smartly about this will be the winners, who have kept in touch with their customers and communicated honestly. Maybe sent a little gift to remind their customers they are still around. Having an opening fanfare, maybe even an opening gift. They could have marketed their hotel at the NEC to get more occupancy. I can only assume they are closed as they don’t have enough guests….well go and get them.
If they had thought smartly about it, they could have asked the guests why they were coming, were they going to NEC and what was the event….then gone to the event organiser with an offer to drum up business.
Not nimble enough
The problem with big corporate organisations is no joined up thinking, people don’t care enough and no one has the big picture and thinks deeply about the consequences of it!!
If the accountant had been commercial he or she would have thought how they could turn the situation around to their benefit rather than thinking lets cut costs…..
They hadn’t thought about the inconvenience to the customer, or more importantly how they made them feel.
I for one, won’t be rushing back….you see, there are many hotels and they don’t have great positioning so their hotel has nothing that really makes them stand out to me. They just happened to have a car park and be close to the venue.
The moral of the story is…
Don’t make snap decisions, think about the bigger picture and sometimes long term gain trumps short term profits…..but run your numbers and consider everything carefully…..
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