We ran a few events at The Belfry last week; the Advocate CEO Club followed by our Scale Conference and Private Dining.
We’ve had some really positive feedback and are busy collating suggestions on what to keep, along with areas for improvement (because we always look for learning – it’s a key element of our SCALE philosophy).
One thing we WON’T be repeating, is holding another event at The Belfry. It may well be a ‘world-class’ luxury spa resort, and yes it has hosted the Ryder Cup numerous times on its carpet-smooth greens but trying to organise a conference has been far less smooth.
We booked back in April and despite the 300-plus bedrooms, we ended up without a single bedroom for any of the guests or speakers. Tricky when it’s a two dayer (three for some) and you’ve travelled as far as Devon or Scotland – and in between.
We looked at many ways to remedy this, but during every single conversation, all The Belfry was interested in was ‘The Contract’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in a contract, but when it gets to the stage of complete inflexibility, and at one-point squabbling over £308 despite spending nearly £10,000 then it really diminishes my customer experience (especially as a small business).
Despite our open dissatisfaction, Jacki even received an email yesterday morning from the venue: “I look forward to working with you in the future!”.
It will be a long wait.
This is what we call Bad Profits; profits earned at the expense of a customer relationship. Yes, there were a few oversights on our behalf (we simply followed the exact same system as we used with them at our last event back in February), but the relationship was totally one-sided.
Bad profits will stunt a company’s growth by creating detractors whose dissatisfaction tarnishes its reputation.
Bad profits can also demoralise employees and leave businesses vulnerable to the competition. We spoke to The Belfry’s Private Dining team about the room issue, and they openly agreed it was bad service.
This week, I want you to think about any previous experience you may have had with customers or delivery, or any gaps in your customer journey that could turn bad profits into good profits.
It may come down to some staff training, or revising your policies, but it will make the difference between you keeping loyal promoting customers, rather than dissatisfied detractors.
It’s a shame, as we have numerous events and workshops planned for 2019 and beyond… this would have been very easy repeat money for The Belfry to secure, if only for one moment they took a step back to look at their customer journey.