The Motel Association of New Zealand held their annual conference in Wellington recently which was as usual a valuable benefit for it’s members. Below is a brief description of the event.
John Key was as usual a very dynamic and informed speaker. Information of the economy, the world and tourism in NZ all delivered with a good dollop of laughter and affinity to the ordinary kiwi person.
Following this Steve Lange the owner who grew Tony’s tyre service to 20 stores gave plenty of advice about customer service, expectations and tips to get all your staff on board with the ethics of your business. Turning complaints in to loyal customers and exceeding your competitors was another strong message to come through.
Debbie Mayo Smith followed up with 8 tips to free up time and make more money. Smart phones were a tool of the customer and needed to be considered from a business point of view. Outlook tips also gave ideas to be far more efficient with the email tasks.
A good time for visiting all the suppliers enabled delegates to make the most of having them all in the one place and get the maximum amount of information without having to spend hours by phone or email contacting them all.
The day was wrapped up with two workshops from Harman’s lawyers and Blakemore group valuers. Seaton Read and Brian Burke discussed improvement rental and the impact on both lessee and lessor and the factors effecting the termination of a lease for various reasons. Bruce Mainwaring gave delegates an insight in to valuation and arbitration processes and highlighted points in a lease which could affect a valuation
All in all it was a very full day loaded with information and tips for delegates. Top this off with the networking and discussions between moteliers and it is not surprising there were so many positive comments from delegates at the end of the day saying how glad they were they had made the decision to attend.
Day two contained the AGM where Peter Blackwell was awarded an Hon life associate membership and the marketing plan of where MANZ is heading in the future. After lunch delegates were given a look at the new website from Maree Surrey along with the capabilities it had and tools it would provide for members. There was also a raft of tips and things delegates should be doing with their own websites. After lunch Jennifer Rolfe gave a fantastic insight in to branding, what it is and how to review or develop your brand.
Of course the night displayed all the delegates in their finery at the Gala Dinner. The mass of black ties and fancy dresses created an amazing atmosphere which set the scene for a great night. During the night The AA host supreme award was won by Roselle and Peter from Shadzz in Palmerston North. Congratulations to them on this. Then in typical conference tradition there was dancing well in to the night.
Today had Kerry Prendergast describe the direction and activities of Tourism New Zealand and then a final session by Pam Corkery Which was highly entertaining but also very poignant and reminded us to make sure our life was full of good memories by ensuring we create them with the way we live our life.
This conference certainly delivered what it needed to for its delegates. Everyone should go home with ideas for their business, new skills and highlighted areas to expand their learning and knowledge, but also with new friends or further cemented old friend relationships. Moteliers are a special group of people and those proactive ones who attended conference have shown just how good they are.
August 02 2012 | Articles for current moteliers and Changes in Motel Trends and Entering the Motel Industry and Uncategorized | No Comments »
There is an interesting comment thread on The New Zealand tourism Industry Blog at present about the attachment of Trip Advisor to Tourism New Zealand’s web site. Here is a link to the discussion.
It is obvious from the comments in this topic that there are many differing opinions on the benefits and disadvantages of Trip Advisor. The reality however is that this type of advertising is here and isn’t going to simply go away. It is in a way no different to the old traditional word of mouth advertising but is able to reach far more people far quicker.
One benefit I see is that at least service providers know what is being said about them and can reply or take appropriate action to fix a problem if necessary rather than being completely oblivious to the old word of mouth be it good or bad stories being told about them.
It is important for any service provider to be confident in their product and their pricing structure so that when a customer threatens a bad review in return for something free the operator can refuse. It is only by these people being refused they will realise that the practice won’t work and then it may cease. It is the same as people who seek a discount on a quoted price. If there weren’t any operators who gave a discount then people would stop asking for one.
Confidence in your product, pricing structure and service will alleviate most customer problems.
March 20 2012 | Articles for current moteliers and Changes in Motel Trends | 1 Comment »
This extract from the Trip Advisor survey shows trends for US hotels and compares them to the rest of the world.
There are some interesting findings such as how many hotels use discounting as a “top deal” and the increase in importance of mobile device strategies. There is also a heavy emphasis on social media and responding to comments.
I found when reading the article myself I couldn’t help but wonder about the fact it was trip advisor undertaking the survey and their product relies strongly on social media and comments and also that it is the owners of the properties being surveyed not the guests. I wonder if guests would have rated things in the same order of priorities?
Social and Mobile Marketing: Engaging Travelers Online and “On the Go”
Percentages following each statement are for U.S. and the WORLD respectively.
Social media marketing:
Expect social media marketing budget to increase in 2012 (of those who had such a budget in 2011) 52% 50%
Plan to monitor social media for mentions of the property 80% 76%
Plan to respond to guest reviews about their property on TripAdvisor 91% 87%
Plan to offer a program to engage travelers using mobile devices (e.g., a mobile app, special offers on mobile, booking through a mobile device) in 2012 61% 53%
Plan to offer a program to engage travelers using mobile devices for the first time in 2012 27% 28%
Services and Amenities: Free or Fees
Plan to add services or amenities in 2012
Foresee adding fees for services or amenities in 2012
Plan to offer free in-room Internet access to guests in 2012 89% 77%
Top Deals and Special Offers: Attracting Guests in 2012
Discounts on rooms
Special amenities/services (e.g., free Wi-Fi Internet access)
Free parking 38% 32%
“Hoteliers’ plans to engage with travelers using social media and mobile devices are also important trends this year,” said Petersen. “While it’s encouraging to see so many planning to respond to online guest reviews in 2012, TripAdvisor’s data show that only 15 percent of property reviews currently have management responses. The owners and managers who follow through on plans to respond to reviews will have an advantage over their competition.”
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/21/4278895/tripadvisor-business-survey-reveals.html#storylink=cpy
February 22 2012 | Articles for current moteliers and Changes in Motel Trends and Entering the Motel Industry and Uncategorized | No Comments »
One of the newer additions to social media is Foursquare. This basic concept is that people check in when they are visiting places such as cafes shops etc and the person who visits the one place the most becomes the mayor of that place. To learn more look at this website http://foursquare.com/businesses/
Some businesses are using this concept to their advantage by creating added value for people who use the foursquare concept. This builds your current customers in to more loyal customers and can also attract new customers.
One icecream shop gave the mayor for each day a free icecream and increased their business substantially. If there is a choice between shops and you may get something extra from one place then it is most likely you will choose that place.
Another example is a hotel who offer a bar discount to their patrons who check in on four square http://www.hotelworldnetwork.com/customer-loyalty-programs/aloft-introduces-social-networking-rewards-9746
All these things create loyalty with customers and increase your exposure on the web. What can you do with this type of advertising media to improve your business?
December 13 2010 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
This is the title of an interesting article I read in the Waikato Business News. As I read the article I could see some very valid points and recognize myself as a social butterfly rather than a competent networker with an objective for each function.
The jist of the article is that rather than networking being something that you do to someone it is an attitude. Instead of just showing up at the functions and enjoying the nibbles and refreshments you must go to the function with a business goal. People will make time to interact with someone who they can have a potentially beneficial relationship with but not many business people have time to waste on social butterflies.
Co-operation is a key principle to networking. This is when two businesses team up to leverage resources and build each others businesses with the sole purpose of creating greater value for their mutual clients. You remove the competition through co-operation and everyone- the two businesses and particularly the client- wins in this relationship. This co-operation concept is initially scary for some business owners and that’s because they come from a place of poverty thinking rather than abundance thinking. Poverty thinking is when you believe the amount of business in the market is finite and if you share the pie, your slice gets smaller. Abundance thinking sees the number of business opportunities as infinite. Therefore, as you share the pie, the pie grows and you share gets bigger.
Think about some of the functions you have attended and what if anything you have gained from them. Then think about other function where you have instigated a very mutually beneficial business relationship. How did that happen? There are many motels who work together and create a better business for each other as well as themselves. Networking does not necessarily have to be with a business which is different from your own. There is certainly truth in the old adage “we are in competition not opposition”
Another concept which relates more to customers is that of the six rung ladder relationship. Under this concept before you qualify someone as needing your business product or service they are termed a suspect. When you qualify them they become a prospect. When they buy your product they become a customer and when they buy a second time they become a client. Then when a person begins referring your business to others they become an advocate.
However your aspiration should be to create relationships with people to turn them in to evangelists for your business. An evangelist is a card carrying referrer who has the same passion for your business as you do. Evangelists are money in the bank. Think of a business or person who you are an evangelist for. What did they actually do to make you feel like that and can you recreate that for your customers. I know myself if I have a person or product I promote in this way I feel good in that I am supporting the person selling the product whom I believe is worthy of this support and also I am helping the person I am referring the product too as it is something they will benefit from. How can you make yourself part of this triangle?
Well the next time I am putting on my glad rags to go to a function I will be setting some goals and seeing how they work. Another of my favourite old sayings is “if you continue to do what you have always done you will continue to get what you have always got” I’m going to try something new and see if I can get more of the pie. Food for thought isn’t it.
Reference: Waikato Business News article by Debra Bell
March 20 2009 | Articles for current moteliers and Entering the Motel Industry and Uncategorized | No Comments »