Let’s talk for a moment about discovering new things. It might seem like that’s all we do in our society, but we also seem too busy to be curious.
Personally, I’ve become quite the podcast nerd over the last few months. I cut my teeth on Serial, and graduated to other notable recordings including NPR’s The TED Radio Hour. One episode in particular, “From Curiosity To Discovery“, really struck a chord with me. How different would our lives be if Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, or Steve Jobs never questioned the world around them?
Which got me thinking…(I know, dangerous!) Most of us are terrible at being curious. It stops somewhere between childhood and our teen years. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been smarter than I was at sixteen. I’ve gotten gradually dumber each day since. Today, technology robs us of curiosity. If you have a question ask your phone or type into a search engine and BOOM there it is. So many answers both right and wrong are always in front of us. Why question anything?
After a sub-par experience at a hotel last week it was apparent that we’ve gotten lazy. Companies have taken for granted that they may NOT have all the answers. Operating from a place of assumption is costing businesses all over the world lots of freaking money.
During our check-in the desk clerk was professional. He asked the required questions: “May I see your ID” and “How would you like to pay for your stay.” There were no other guests in line. We stood in silence while my card processed. He handed over a packet with a room number written on it, and pointed in the direction of our room. Easy. For the sake of argument let’s see what his lack of curiosity potentially cost this unnamed hotel/water park:
Food/Beverage Est. Loss $100: During the several minutes of silence the cordial gentlemen failed to mention there were several restaurants onsite. I suppose he assumed we would look through the material handed to us without explanation, but we didn’t. Had he been curious enough to ask why we were staying he would have known we were there for baseball and convenience was our top priority. We spent an average of $100 per day on food and beverage offsite and an average of $0 onsite.
Additional Activities Est. Loss $50-$150: As we walked to our room we noticed little activity stations placed around the hotel. I still have no idea how we could have partaken in those activities. Did they have an additional fee; where do we sign up, etc? No one mentioned it. Not even the cordial tight lipped gentleman in the lobby. Attached to the hotel was a building with some sort of interactive magic quest type thingy. Clearly the entire concept was well explained….or not. I’m a sucker for handing my kids cash for arcades and extra fun stuff when they beg for it. Their negotiating skills are much stronger than mine, but I didn’t know where/how to spend my money……and so I didn’t.
Spa Services. Est loss, $150. I’m a mother of two boys. TWO. While they are my world, this mama could use a little R&R. Some spa time would have been perfect! A massage would have been nice, pedicure, facial or all three. I know I could have talked several other baseball moms into joining me (That’s $150 times three). But no one said a word. I stumbled upon the spa as we were packing up our car. Too little, too late.
Now my measly $300 doesn’t seem like much, but that 467 room hotel was nearly sold out, so multiply me by hundreds. I’m sure many took the time to read through material or happened up the restaurants/spas, or maybe they asked directly. I can safely presume many did not.
After spending a pretty penny on rooms for a hotel stay that was just OK, we’ve decided we’ll check out their competition across the street next time we’re in town. I hope they ask better questions.