Friday, May 09, 2008

What business is the Holiday Inn in?

Greetings from the Holiday Inn Express in Hammersmith - in the twilight zone between living in London and living in New York. Flat is packed, bags are bulging & Heathrow beckons. But I couldn't pass an Internet connection without asking the question - what business is Holiday Inn in?

I think it's the "affordable business travellers" market. The problem is that a customer segment is not an experience. The Internet connection here provides the example. They have a plug in cable, but the browser the opens up a page asking that you enter in your credit card details and address in order to pay £15 for 24hrs access. That experience is terrible - they do not even allow you to bill to your room.

The hotel have outsourced Internet provision to an intermediary as they don't think they're in that game. Nothing else is obviously outsourced - hot water, bed and food are considered core. Sure, go ahead and price discriminate for movies or the mini bar (or the Internet) if you must, but make it as simple as typing in your room number on the screen or just grabbing a bottle. an easy and integrated Internet experience is not a fundamental requirement of today's travelling business exec on a budget, I don't know what is.

1 comment:

Rob Neild said...

At £15 for 24hrs its not just the experience that is terrible! Please join my campaign and be sure to tell the staff at checkout that this experience means that you will never come back. If you don't mean it or are forced to return on a future date just tell them again next time – that really gets the point across ;-)

One week last year I spent some time in a medium range motel and some time at the Banff Springs hotel. The motel way 1/10th the price but had free parking, breakfast, internet and I got no funny looks from the sliding front door each time I passes without slipping it some notes. The cost of the extras (actually essentials) at the Springs was more than the total cost of the motel. Odd that this is considered OK. It is not elsewhere - you get charged for the peanuts at the back of the plane but expect the champagne at the front to be free.