Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Postcard and the Feedback Form

Lessons from the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry is far older than the internet, and its insights can be instructive to those of us who work in the digital realm. If we want to delight our customers and build brand loyalty, we should look to the old masters whose techniques have been honed through the ages.

One of my favorite hotel perks - and certainly one of the cheapest from the hotel's perspective - is the free postcard on the nightstand. Nobody is in a bad mood when writing a postcard to a loved one. A postcard is an invitation to put down the phone and with pen in hand reflect on your experience.

The postcard is not just a blank white piece of paper. It comes pre-packaged with something worth sharing: a nice picture. And of course, the postcard always comes with the hotel's own insignia, too. It's basically the stationary version of "click to tweet."

The postcard is not to be confused with the feedback form. When a customer has a complaint, hotels want to make it very easy for them to address their concerns to management. Otherwise the customer may find a more convenient outlet on Yelp or TripAdvisor.

The analogy to websites is obvious. When a user visits our site or uses our app, we want to make it very easy to broadcast good experiences to the world, while resolving negative experiences as discreetly as possible.

What other lessons can digital draw from hospitality?

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