Especially for SME’s – 22: Time.

12 January 2022

SME


Mr. Lowe: We are lucky to have as our customer another hotel chain that started from Vadodara, whose entire management policy was created by its customers. You can say the organizational climate was created by the customers of the hotel! So the customers took the hotel as their own and felt at home and used to rush to it for solace whenever there was a fight at home! Is there a threat to such a hotel from its competitors, even in this highly competitive hotel industry, when the customers say it is THEIR hotel? There is no threat to this hotel from any competition because climate is an intangible resource of great value and it cannot be copy-pasted like any other tangible resource, including furniture, rooms, architecture, lobby etc. etc. Even if some one copies aspects of climate, he won’t be able to practice it consistently as this hotel. But of course, this is valid only as long as the hotel preserves the climate created by its guests, which get threatened if there is a change of guard at the very top.

SME 2: We get it but what I admire is the way saying no was executed! Such a thing could have been handled very nastily but this proves your customer is God even if he is violating some great societal norm in his personal life!

Mr. Lowe: Exactly. This treatment would not have been possible if the MD thought he was there to take care of the values of HIS hotel. This MD used to tell frequently that he was the representative of his guests at his hotel, cleanliness, taste of food etc. for the customer, as customers are not there in the hotel always to ensue these things; he was also there to ensure the dictum ‘Never say No to customer and make it happen’!

SME 3: Arranging his own car and driver to drop them at another hotel after booking a room for them is the peak of service. Foregoing a revenue and yet serving the customer this way is truly commendable.

Mr. Lowe: The point is, all of us, every one of us can do it. Why are we not doing this? Just think about it. Let me also finish this real story with what happened later: It so happened this customer happened to be a powerful MLA in Gujarat, and he always used to take other woman every other day and without knowing any of this, the MD had acted on behalf of his other customers. This politician then decided to stay only at this hotel every time he crossed Vadodara, may be because he would like to be identified with other guests of this hotel and their good character certificates. Not only that, he made sure that all the Govt. officers who travel stay only in this hotel!

SME 1: Now think the revenue generation because of this one single act of never say no to customer. Also think had he thought of the revenue loss because he is shifting a guest out of his hotel at the time he did! This is exactly what is blocking many of us from doing what this MD did. We are carried away by a single transaction loss of revenue that is immediate and which we can see but fail to see the future potential of such a policy and the future, long- term loss of revenue that we cannot see, at that point in time. That is why you said what we cannot see is more powerful than what we can. Other SME’s: All of us are open enough to practice this from today, even though we were practicing the exact opposite and were priding ourselves as great entrepreneurs who have successfully extracted most from a customer exploiting him instead of serving him.

Mr. Lowe: But all of you missed one more key point in this: That is regarding the most precious of all resources namely time. One of the most important aspects of time is timing. Timing a decision and start of execution is a critical aspect of effectiveness and success of that decision. In the previous example, imagine the MD has given an instruction to the hotel staff that he should not be disturbed after 8 pm and before 6 am for any matter concerning the hotel. What would have happened? ………contd.

SME

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