We've just returned from the holiday of a lifetime! Two weeks in South Carolina and Georgia.
The holiday was in celebration of a BIG birthday, so we broke the bank, and went as BIG as we could afford with flights and hotels.
Six months in the planning, there's probably not a hotel in Hilton Head, Charleston or Savannah that we've not researched on the web, or read reviews about - so as you can imagine our choices were very well considered.
Our first stop, was just for one night on arrival in Savannah. We stayed at the Cotton Sail, on the Riverfront - as the name suggests this used to be a cotton warehouse and has been sympathetically restored. We arrived late, and checked in to our room a lovely executive room - facing a brick wall(!) - we went for a meal in their restaurant starting with a drink in their rooftop bar which whilst beautifully presented on their website, was quite disappointing in reality - not a good start, but hey it was only for a night.
The next morning we set off down to Hilton Head - the main reason for our trip was to attend the PGA RBC Heritage Classic and we booked 6 nights in a condo in the centre of the island owned by Kelsey Cottages.
Oh my, it way exceeded our expectations - everything we wanted - great location a short walk from restaurants, shops and the beach, beautifully decorated, fabulous views and supplied with everything we needed for an extremely enjoyable six night stay. Update - we stayed here again the following year (2018) - just as amazing..
Hilton Head is a brand in its own right - everybody we met, without exception, was friendly and helpful stopping to chat and taking an interest - it really added to the enjoyment of our holiday.
Our next stop was Charleston Harbour Beach Resort and I'm sure you'll agree from the photos a stunning hotel in a stunning location. BUT it was style over substance in this hotel - the customer service was poor, rooms not made up, no hotel bar(!) or restaurant, you had to walk across the car park to get your breakfast, a meal or even just a drink.
So whilst there was no denying this was probably the prettiest location we stayed in the service didn't live up to the location and the decor - and resulted in being our least favourite hotel of the whole trip.
I guess the purpose of this blog is to get across that it doesn't matter how good your brand is, how well you market your company - if you can't deliver the service to match the perception - then in the end your customers are going to be disappointed.
Style over substance can often disappoint, where if you can deliver substance over style you will more often than not exceed your customers expectations.
Have you come across businesses that promise a great product or service, but don't quite come up to the mark?