Friday, 27 June 2014

The little things

It’s always important when travelling to remember the phrase, “It’s not wrong, it’s just different.” However, with some of life’s little efficiencies that follow, there’s not a thought of it being wrong, and you may wonder why you haven’t seen it before. Having been travelling in Southeast Asia for almost a month now, and conducting various research, I have come across some marketing miracles along the way.

First, I was extremely impressed by the electronic key bracelets that most hotels have implemented, as seen below. With this tool they have most likely eliminated their plastic key consumption, lost or stolen room key problems, and various waste throughout their supply and disposal channels (in addition to the disposal channels where lost cards do end up). These fashionable bracelet keys solve further problems facing guests such as door lock battery failures since they can be simply magnetized and don’t necessarily need a battery. The hotels using these keys are also saving work for themselves by keeping the keys and not having to remagnetise them every time for a new room. They also no longer have to open rooms for guests who lost their keys, and are able to easily identify guests of the hotel for security reasons. The bracelets slip on and off and are easily hidden by a sleeve if they don’t match your outfit.

Another interesting concept, which I am extremely curious as to why it hasn’t been implemented in almost every hospitality institution, is the service call button. Similar to the button above your seat on an airplane, many Asian countries have service buttons on your restaurant table in hopes of improving your service. This eliminates waiting times, keeps staff from bothering customers, and creates ordering efficiencies. This drastically improves customer satisfaction, as it give customers the choice of when to place their order, while staff was busy making other orders or cleaning the area, etc. A potential problem here could be that staff members take too long to reach your table, but if the venue is correctly staffed for its size and amount of customers, this response time can be easily managed. If venues want to improve their customer response ratings and reviews on the internet, this might be a good option.

To me, these two small tricks to make your life easier are marketing geniuses, because sometimes, it’s the smallest thing that can make or break your experience at a place; especially when you’re travelling or working abroad.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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