Inchcolm is a unique building and justifiably is one of Brisbane’s treasured heritage-listed buildings. Designed by Eric P Trewern and built in 1930 by J. I. Green & Son, this four-storeyed building was used as medical offices for the region’s doctors. Fast forward to 1998, Inchcolm was converted into a 50 room hotel, whilst thankfully retaining many of the original features such as the Georgian style façade, stunningly Deco-centric interior and original 100 year old working elevator.
The current hotel is still a big nod to its fascinating heritage, and retains its original Great Gatsby vibe. But while its appearance is noteworthy, it’s the distinctively modern approach to the customer experience that attracts most of the guest’s attention.
On a recent episode of That Bad Review, I spoke with Ovolo Inchcolm general manager, Nick Ellis. He’s a genuine advocate for exceptional customer experiences, and the way he runs Inchcolm is a testament to that. Recently, he gave some insight into the inner workings of the refreshingly unique hotel.
Invest In The Employee Experience
If your team is happy, your customers are happy. Nick is proud of the fact that the establishment he’s running isn’t just another cookie cutter hotel chain and the staffs are a big part of that.
Their individual personalities are highly valued, so you won’t find a script for them to parrot from here. “I probably invest more time in my employee experience than I do my guests,” mentions Nick, understanding that if you take care of your staff then they’ll take care of the guests.
It’s true – by the sounds of it, his staff are a priority. From their newly appointed refurbed caravan staffroom, to the employee designed uniforms, they all create a working experience that motivates and builds loyalty. To get an idea of the effectiveness of investing in your staff, you only have to look at Inchcolm customer feedback and reviews.
Using Technology To Create A Unique Guest Experience
AI is the big game changer within the industry, and Nick has started to integrate it within the hotel. Seeing Metallica in Brisbane later? Wait until you get to your room. You’ll have their greatest hits playing via your personal Alexa system as soon as you enter, dialled in by the desk clerk you were just chatting with. Nick’s plans are to integrate that Alexa system into the Property Management System (PMS), so guests can utilize it like a concierge or housekeeping service.
See The Bigger Picture
One of Ovolo’s impressive approaches to great guest satisfaction is once you’ve purchased the room, everything inside it is yours – including carte blanche of the mini bar. You don’t want your guests counting the pennies, you want them to be enveloped in the experience. “It’s our uniqueness that makes a difference,” says Nick.
The Personal Touch To Feedback
If the customer experience is anything less than 9 out of 10 in a review, you can expect a personal email from Nick to ask how things can be improved. It’s important how you react to those situations -take ownership, contact the guest, show you care and above all act upon the feedback.
Inchcolm add so many other incredible soupçons to their customer experience, from free gym access to complementary drinks during happy hour. The small touches make for an exceptional guest experience, and the folks at Inchcolm certainly cater to that.
Listen to the full episode here.