Are you using a 3-STAR model and expecting a 5-Star response?

Can you remember a hotel experience where you booked for three stars or below? What was it like?

Or worse, can you recall a time when you thought it was five star stay, and it was so obvious that it was less?

Let me tell you about Fiji Gate (think WaterGate with cocktails)

When I left my big corporate job in 2015, I was determined to take my husband and 2-year old daughter on a fabulous Fiji holiday. A quick trip to the local travel agent for suggestions, and I allowed her to woo me with glossy brochures and the promise of paradise.

I was particularly captivated by one property that I saw. So as most sensible people do, I made my decision to book a no-cancellations holiday to this resort without properly consulting my husband or properly researching the resort.

“What could possibly go wrong?!?!?” as famously quoted in the Simpsons.

You can only imagine the post purchase dissonance that I experienced as I read a terrible review, after review as I began to research the property.

When five star bottoms out

As the time came for us to fly into Nandi, and then take a separate flight to this island and then a lengthy bus ride we arrived at the underwhelming hotel. We smiled nervously through our kava foot rub and welcome fruit cocktails. This is ok… and then the fears of failure were realised when we golf carted a loooong way from the main entrance to our room. To our run-down looking villa looking out over an overgrown golf course which was as far away from the pool as possible.

And while we’re talking pool let me tell you about it.

It was like the 80s has asked for their pool back. All blue and white matching tiles, tarted up with a water slide that wound down the hill for a few turns and twists. The only problem was, that once you started down the slide. You were all “weeeeeeee” and then suddenly came to a thudding halt midway down the slide where you completely ran out of slide factor. Then left with nothing else to do, you had to awkwardly shuffle and push your way down the bottom to the pool. The.worst.

The fancy villas and pools that I’d seen in my brochure – Oh they were there. Yes, there on the waterfront side of the resort in an adults only section of the resort. So that’s right, we weren’t even allowed to go there and were shamed away with our little girl…The.worst.

Let’s suffice to say that I may have had the biggest ever argument I’ve ever had with my usually very calm husband, and we did our very best effort to make the most of our holiday.

And the opposite?

Compare that with a moment of absolute joy in a five star experience.

A colleague of mine told me about a resort that he’d stayed at when visiting for a conference in Papua New Guinea, and that it had given him a renewed sense of what a five star experience should be.

He said it wasn’t only that it was a beautiful environment with pristeen grounds, rooms and pools.

He said it was the detail, the wow moments. The fact that the front desk knew his name before he spoke. That the staff member he passed who was polishing the windows knew his name. The way that anything he asked for was produced, without a question of how or how much; and certainly no excuses for why not.

He was so captivated by the experience that he’s made it his mission to tell everyone about the resort, and is even taking a team there for another conference and to use it as a case study for what a five star experience is really like. Wow.

When our Social is more 3-Star than 5-Star

Now I’m not suggesting that we all overindulge in the first world problems of trying to find luxury accommodation or else darling. It’s simply the perfect marketing metaphor.

I think the traditional marketing approaches when it comes to social media strategies are in the three style model.

In the three star zone:

  • I have a Facebook page for my business and a Linkedin profile (not complete)
  • I throw some occasional content at it
  • I occasionally boost some posts or pay for some ads (not that I’m sure what I’m doing).

And then I wonder why I’m not standing out and getting a 5-Star response??

Let me tell you that it’s in this 3-Star zone where the digital world is most crowded.

What I’ve found though, if you want to move to truly stand out like the 5-STAR model, then it will take more.

I’ve just finished writing my book about this 5-STAR Model and I can’t wait to tell you more about each step over the next few weeks.

Stay tuned for more.

About Kirryn Zerna

I’m on a quest to help ideas, leaders and brands stand out (without selling out) in this age of online influence. I’m a conference speaker, a masterclass presenter and creator of the Stand Out Effect: a modern-day quest to uncover what makes brands stand out without selling out. What’s unique about me is that I understand the nuance of business from a large corporation to a small business and can translate the challenges and opportunities of the power of social media in each context. I draw on deep experience of working within corporate and public sector environments, and I also have had the privilege of working with over 1,300 small businesses and entrepreneurs through state and federal funded programs in the last year.

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