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The Inn Experience

May 25, 2008

by Kit Cassingham

It's the inn experience that keeps your guests coming back, and telling others about you. It's comprised of all aspects of the inn -- tangible and intangible. Pay attention to all aspects of the inn to create the best experience, the most cohesive elements, you can.

Think of your B&B inn as "hospitality pie". The aspects of the inn are wedges of the pie. Let's look at the pie graphically to see what it is composed of.

Your B&B can be thought of as a pie cut into five wedges, each wedge representing part of the inn experience. Some of these wedges are invisible to the guest but do impact their experience so are important.

The inn itself is as starting point in creating the inn experience for the guest. This is the physical aspects of the property. The grounds, roof, plumbing, wiring, staff and brochure/website all play a role. Paying attention to this wedge of the hospitality pie is as important as the other wedges.

The innkeeper and staff make up one wedge. This part of the experience represents how you interact with the inn and the guests. It reflects your energy level in your participation. You are an equal portion with the other resources (the other wedges of the pie) -- not a tiny resource but not the total picture either.

Marketing is another aspect of the guest experience, the next wedge in the pie. The marketing wedge addresses the timing of your communications. It impacts why, how and to whom you communicate about the inn and aspects of it you want others to know about as a way of attracting them to your business.

The business itself is another wedge in this pie. I'm talking about your cash flow -- the income and expenses, the working capital and savings for maintenance and expansion. I like to think of cash flow like energy and love watching it flow through the inn. Cash flow can impact the guest experience because it impacts how the inn looks and how well it operates.

The guest experience is an important wedge in this hospitality pie. This reflects the connection you make with your guests from their first phone or email inquiry and continues through their departure. Your procedures affect the guest experience, as do these other pie wedges. The guest has responsibility for their experience, but you impact it with your attitude and attention.

Pay attention to all of the elements, or ingredients, of your hospitality pie to create a situation where a guest can have a fantastic experience. If a guest's first inn experience is positive your that guest becomes a good will ambassador for you -- and that's the best marketing you can get.

This article is an excerpt of my ebook Daily Operations The 8-Ring Circus.




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