The Adrian Loveridge Column – Social Media Continues to Transform How Business is Done

Some Canadian friends recently took us out to lunch and while I have eaten at this particular restaurant before, it was frankly so good in every aspect, I felt duty-bound to post a review on Tripadvisor (TA). Within less than a week TA had advised that my comments had received 458 views worldwide.

It reinforces that social media has transformed the way we do business and that if we are going to grow and improve our tourism product that we have to do a whole lot more to differentiate ourselves above global competition.

Almost in absolute contradiction we placed a small order with a big brand drinks supplier who normally delivers the same day. Later in that day we had a call demanding cash on delivery even though we have held a credit account with this company for 28 years with an impeccable settlement history. Rather than take a few seconds to tap in our company name and see how payment is normally made, it appeared easier to grab the phone and risk alienating a long time loyal customer. Of course, I do not blame the individual, but certainly, management has to take some responsibility.

In tourism, often you do not get a second chance. It has to be as close to perfect the first time round. I graphically recall the first time our small hotel reached #1 out of every Tripadvisor rated hotel on Barbados. The notification came on the morning of one Christmas Day. Naturally we celebrated with the people who made in happen, our guests and friends.

While sites like TA have been maligned in the past by various persons, there frankly is no better measure than by the people embracing the experience and until we really and fully understand that fact, there will always be challenges to maintaining an icon destination reputation.

Again, those of us in management can be a substantial part of the problem.

It was refreshing to read recently that one of our higher end hotels had sent some their employees overseas on a six week attachment to a 5 star resort in the US state of Montana, as part of an ongoing annual programme, allowing them to experience other levels of service.

And as the news article quoted ‘It provided them with a better appreciation of the importance of service delivery standards, the value and effectiveness of team work and being multi-skilled employees’.

We are so often asking our serving staff to provide a level of service that they may not have been personally exposed too, so how could they possibly excel in this area?

I believe Cobblers Cove approach is a win-win scenario for everyone. The hotel itself, their guests and equally important, the individual staff who with additional acquired skills will make themselves more employment marketable.

Of course, it’s not such a practical option during the peak winter season, but maybe an option for many more responsible managers to consider for next year’s softer summer period. Ultimately, we will all benefit.

10 comments

  • Words of wisdom. The world has changed and the old ways of asting in the tourism industry will not cut it in this age of instant communication and information distribution. Hopefully Barbados businesses management and employees will respond to this.

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  • The obvious question that comes to Bushie’s mind is ..

    What stops us from instituting a ‘Service Advisor’ – perhaps right here on BU – where customers can rate the levels of service for any and all local suppliers – like the utilities, the NIS, the Banks, various department stores, hotels etc?
    Shiite man, this could be drilled down to the level of individual service employees.

    Bushie proposed this to David a few years ago, but realistically, David (BU) cannot be expected to do everything….

    Having said that, such a rating service would light FIRES under the donkeys of multiple shiitehounds in Barbados who are loitering on various premises awaiting payday…. while the whole place collapses for lack of merit-based decision making.

    What a place….!!!

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  • @Adrian
    I’m so glad you see “that social media has transformed the way we do business and that if we are going to grow and improve our tourism product that we have to do a whole lot more to differentiate ourselves above global competition.”
    Note to Adrian: Air BnB is fundamentally a social media platform.

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  • Be careful what you ask for. It is also the same social media tools, apps, software and technology, that make it very easy to price shop and compare across the Caribbean to the extent the people realise they can get more value for money going to Dominica Republic or Jamaica or even Bahamas in some cases. This makes is even more difficult to attract the young digitally savvy vacationers who absolutely price, comparison and deal shop. Technology is only a blessing when it is implement in addition to an improvement in the underlying process. This is where we are lacking.

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  • Apologies for the typos……damn technology… 🙂

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  • fortyacresandamule

    Personally for me, when it comes to CERTAIN subjective human experience, I usually ignore the critics. And trip advisor is one such entity. Maybe because I am not a fussy, whiney, or picky individual when it comes to accomodation: whether traveling on business or vacation.

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  • Interesting Hants and the message did not originate from anyone on BU. Some of the jackasses on this blog who support the government believe that to oppose all inclusives is anti government.

    On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 3:50 PM, Barbados Underground wrote:

    >

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