In last week’s Glen Glines’ Comment:
“The secret to CRE success is picking the right people to be the face of CRE. Perhaps the next step is to, once in a while, say no to the wrong client.”
Fortunately in the vast majority of cases prospective guests self-select. Unfortunately we are not that good at spotting non-compatible guests during the planning phase.
Actually, when we spot prospective guests who we do not feel are good fits we encourage them to reconsider.
Here are the exchanges of emails in two recent such cases where there were enough hints in the early communication from the guests to give us pause:
“I have filled out wish list. I am interested in National Parks of Costa Rica. The parks: Tortugero, La Fortuna /Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio / Quepos area. I am very concerned with clean and bug free accommodations. I will be travelling with another adult. We are not interested travelling in groups on a tight schedule. We are arriving in San Jose Nov.8th and departing Nov.22nd. We are interested in any places you recommend.”
“Clean is easy. Bug free in the tropics is impossible to guarantee. Rooms may be big free for months and then there is hatch and the rooms have bugs for a few days until we can figure out how to deal with them. At any time every time you open the door there is a chance that a bug will get into the room This true of literally 100% of the hotels in Costa Rica. That said, we can choose hotels for you where there is a high probability that you will not be annoyed by bugs, but If 100% bug free is really important to you, you should choose another destination.
Please let me know if you have any questions.”
In this case Nadya sent our standard first response to a Wish List, with the preferences that the guest indicated. You can read the whole response here.
You can check out the Wish List here.
“Please review my initial request. My wife and I plan on staying 4-5 days, not 8 or ten days. The cost per day may be appropriate, depending on the service and itinerary. Assuming that the website re driving is accurate, we will not rent a car.”
If you would like to deal with me on a sincere and professional manner, please do not send canned e mails, only custom ones that address our desires. Thanks.”
Here is how Natalie answered:
Nadya sent me your email below and asked for my help responding to you.
You’re right, some of the text that was sent to you in Nadya’s email of yesterday is text that has been written in the past. In order to get back to you within a day, we often use templates as long as they are relevant.
In your case, I see that although the text was to some degree “canned” the email was also personalized. You sent in a Wish List where you checked the box for a Travel Planner specializing in upscale vacations and we wanted to reconfirm that this was the correct budget. You also check the box for rental vehicle and we sent you some information regarding what that entails in Costa Rica and asked you if taking this into consideration you still want to rent a car. Have we sent this information in the past? Of course. Nadya also sent you a paragraph and a link that she has probably used literally thousands of times introducing herself and offering you information on her experience as a Travel Planner so that you would be able to put a face to the name when working with her on your vacation. Over the years we have had a lot of feedback that our clients appreciate knowing who they are corresponding with and for this reason our Travel Planners introduce themselves.
You say you only want custom emails that address your desires. Our ability to do this depends on what you mean by that, we have a huge database of text that deals with the routine and the predictable, we use this text on a daily basis. Every time we write something new that is relevant and will get re-used in the future and will save our Travel Planners some time, it goes into the data base. We do this so that when we can highly personalize the exceptions.
The email that you sent implies that you doubt the accuracy of the information on the rental vehicles and it also warns us that you only want to work with people who are sincere and professional. It seems to me that we are already off on a bad foot and if you are doubting our sincerity and our professionalism you might be better off to work with a different company.
It is up to you, we are happy to send you a customized itinerary in the upscale price range. The itinerary will be designed with the information that you have provided. What we can’t do is reinvent the wheel and will most likely use paragraphs that have been written and used before both for the itinerary and our correspondence with you. What we can commit to doing is making sure as we have up until now, that what we sent you applies to your personal situation and plan a very special Birthday Celebration for you and your wife.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Neither of the two prospective guests answered. I can’t say that we are disappointed.
So what do you think? Are we jumping to unfair conclusions?