Lenny’s Got It Wrong!
I’m sure, even if you only occasionally watch TV you’ve seen the Premier Inn advert with Lenny Henry snuggled up in a bed in Kings Cross Station extoling the virtues of their comfort. Although now he’s telling you about the virtues of ‘waking up wonderful’.
Now I’m at Kings Cross a fair bit and I’ve never seen Lenny there, but if I did I’d tell him he’s got it wrong. It’s not the beds that make Premier Inn different – it’s the people!
In truth I’m a recent convert to Premier Inn I’ve only had to book my own hotels for the last 3 years, but very quickly they’ve become my hotel of choice wherever I am staying.
Yes the beds are pretty comfortable and the rooms are clean, but that’s not the reason I love them so much and always look if there’s one nearby where I need to be.
The reason I love them is for the one thing you can almost guarantee when you stay in one – the people will be happy and will provide great customer service.
It would be easy to assume that this level of service is just the product of great recruitment and customer service training. Judging by my experience, I’m sure Premier Inn recruit well, but much to my surprise they don’t actually do any formal customer service training.
In truth for Premier Inn, it’s more about the environment their people work in – they are encouraged to be themselves, and I have yet to meet one person at reception who doesn’t appear to genuinely enjoy what they do and take pride in the positive impact they have on their guests.
A great example of this was my first Premier Inn experiences at The Coldra in South Wales. The lady working reception appeared to work out in the first two minutes how different Elizabeth and I are and responded in a similar vein. In essence that means she has a laugh and joke with me, often at my expense! I love it…
We’ve been to the Coldra many times since and she always remembers our names, asks us about the business and demonstrates genuine interest in both Elizabeth and myself, but adapting her style to suit our very different personalities. It just makes such a difference to us and each time we look forward to coming back.
I’m willing to wager if we as leaders could create a similar environment where our people can flourish – it would have a significant, if not transformational impact on results, motivation and engagement.
Premier Inn appears to have realised that people are their valuable resource because they really make the difference.
Lenny – it’s not the beds, it’s the people that make me a fan!
Thanks for reading