HOTEL COMPANY REACHES FOR THE STARS TO ENGAGE CUSTOMERS
19th May 2006
Budget hotel chain, Travelodge has introduced staff name badges including the individual's star sign in another step in its strategy to bring customers closer to its hotels. Following successful trials in each corner of the UK, the hotel company has decided to roll out the new 'ice-breaker' badges to all of its hotels from this week.
Also gone are ties, scarves and jackets to make Travelodge uniforms much less formal. The badges and uniform changes are part of a review following a series of customer focus groups that revealed that hotels are often intimidating and unapproachable, especially for single travellers.
Travelodge's Operations Director, Kyle Rowe said, "Too many people find hotels unapproachable and stuffy - a perception often derived from four and five star hotels. At Travelodge we have looked at all areas of our operation to make sure that our staff are always on hand to help. Our training, customer initiatives and new uniforms really help us to create a relaxed and friendly customer environment."
Now all members of staff will receive a star-sign name badge. They will also be encouraged to learn about the characteristics of their sign so they can chat with customers.
Rowe said, "The badges have been introduced as an ice-breaker for customers when they check-in. It is a fun and light-hearted way of engaging our customers and ensuring that they begin their stay feeling relaxed."
Currently one in three people use a hotel at least once a year. Travelodge has run customer focus groups and conducted national research to understand the reasons why two thirds of the UK are yet to use a hotel. As well as finding some up-market hotels intimidating, 85% of respondents felt that hotels in the UK were too expensive.
Travelodge has addressed the price issue by selling one million rooms at £10 and £26 during 2006, and is now making its hotels more colourful and approachable via initiatives such as these.
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