Yesterday, a resort outside of Houston suddenly took the spotlight. The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center was mentioned in a Reddit post which received over 80,000 views, and then was featured in multiple blogs and news sites - including ABCnews.com. The hotel's manager, Greg Parsons - the stepfather of yours truly - was interviewed and his hotel garnered national attention in no time at all.
The viral publicity stemmed from a simple, even extraordinarily odd, request by a customer which was fulfilled dutifully, as well as jokingly, by the hotel staff. As a guest made his room reservation a month in advance, he put the staff to the test with no expectation of being taken seriously.
In that, he was mistaken and surprised with a picture of bacon and three lone M&Ms waiting for him in his room (remember - they were at his request!).
The occasion generated amusement on both sides of the reception desk... but it didn't end there. The guest posted pictures of his original online request and the pictures of its fulfillment online, and then shared it via a post on Reddit. It was all a matter of simple social media after that.
What's the lesson here?
The Woodlands Resort did what it already does best through customer service. The guest did what he already does best by engaging on social media about his experiences as consumer. It just so happens the experience was unique enough to go viral, and now the resort is reaping the benefits.
As a business providing a product and/or service to customers, you do your all to meet their needs if they are within the scope of your power and policies. If you meet or surpass expectations, at the very least you can pacify a customer; at the most, you can leave an impression to be shared with others. Thousands upon thousands of others.
Who wants some bacon?
- With Bacon And M&Ms, Resort Makes Couple Feel At Home (consumerist.com)
- The Woodlands Resort comes through with weird request (sfgate.com)