Is it a Renaissance or a Ritz?
That's the question I've had to continously ask myself over the last 24 hours.
I remember when I bought a Saturn many moons ago -- the joke was that Saturn was the poor man's Lexus. The quality of the car was surpassed only by the quality of the dealer service. When I returned from my honeymoon to find my car window smashed, my CD player stolen, I was anticipating a terrible experience dealing with dealers and insurance. Instead, the repair manager at my local Saturn dealer asked for my insurance info, and said he'd take care of it. I wrote a deductible check and can only assume the dealership was paid by USAA insurance. God knows I never heard another word.
And that's what it has been like today at the Renaissance here in Tulsa. Bartenders using my name, calling out across the bar (as I diligently worked in a corner) to make sure I was "doing ok" to friendly and welcoming front desk, floor and operator staff.... I'm getting a Ritz service on a budget price. Add to that, some pretty tasty food in the hotel restaurant (and remember, I'm living in New Orleans, so I've become a food snob) and well, you have a complete experience.
Why does a great brand experience matter?
And you know what... it's working. I've never had anything against Renaissance, but after this trip, I'll be looking for Renaissance Hotels in cities I visit.
The rooms are clean, the lobbies spacious and clean, the wi-fi snappy, and the people actully make you think they're happy you're here. And when you think aout a hotel experience, that's all you want.
Yes, sure ther are those high-maintenance folks that want the haughty-taughty stuff, but for most of us, just being treated as a guest is more than enough. Bartenders addressing you by name give you the allusion of "home" and guest services walking you to where you need to be vs just pointing in a direction -- that makes you feel special.
And how much more did that cost Renaissance?
Which goes to show you -- along time ago, the Ritz brand was just another Renaissance. The Ritz became the Ritz by committing to providing awesome service before they were recognized for providing that service. And now, so many years later, after consistently performing to that expectation the Ritz brand has become synonymous with top-tier.
Could the Renassance brand do the same? Could yours? I bet they could... but what say you... could your brand be the next Ritz? What's holding you back? What's standing between you and greatness?