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Your Shout: Rod Taylor, Hotels Team Leader, Barclays Bank

09 June 2004
Your Shout: Rod Taylor, Hotels Team Leader, Barclays Bank
!
I believe the bank that can clearly demonstrate its unique selling point, or "USP", has it in its power to become the lender of choice to the hospitality and leisure industry. While there are two or possibly three banks that have gone out of their way to understand the industry, many people would still say it's difficult to tell them apart. The same might also be said of some hotel "brands", but that's a subject for a subsequent article. Where the banks can learn from the hotel industry is in the capture of customer satisfaction data. This is not to say that banks should hand you a card asking you to tick the box and assess the overall experience. Really good hoteliers find out in advance what the customer wants and then deliver. How many of us are members of frequent-stay programmes? Isn't it nice when you arrive at a hotel and are personally greeted, hopefully with an upgrade. It might be even nicer if, over a complimentary glass of wine, we were asked how the hotel could make our next stay even better. The inference then is that the hotel wants us back and we will enjoy it even more next time. Fill in a tick list card and expect changes - I think not. For this reason the Barclays National Hotels Team has committed to meetings with a wide selection of its large and smaller clients in order to explore customers' operational and financial issues and to find out what might appear on their wish lists. So don't be surprised if your bank rings and asks you what it can do to make a difference or wants you to help it develop a USP - or even if the hotel where you're staying really does seek your views. Remember, you heard it here first!
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