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The little things matter

CIMG3506 After hearing Chip Conley speak about the amazing design, service, and "mojo" he tries to build into all his hotels, I was very excited to stay at the Hotel Montgomery in San Jose.

It was nice enough. But I was really turned off by this "fitness center" (you can see the entire thing in this photo).

I had a fine experience at the hotel, but this one little thing is enough to keep me from coming back.

You can’t be sort of awesome.  It’s all or nothing.  Seth Godin calls this "The Sad Lie of Mediocrity":

Doing 4% less does not get you 4% less.

Doing 4% less may very well get you 95% less.

They lost 100% of my business, not just a little bit over a little issue.

P.S. The next day there was a note on my bed that the hotel had been sold.

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  1. Tim Walker November 9, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    Well said, Andy. I’ve been thinking a lot about Seth’s lie-of-mediocrity post, too, and you’ve provided a perfect example here.
    Great restaurateurs won’t put up with *one* smudged window or cold meal. Great hotels go over the top to make sure you’re satisfied. Great merchants won’t rest until they figure out how to meet your need, even if it means sending you to the store down the road.
    The lesson is, in many ways, pretty simple. It’s just hard to do.

  2. Luke Walker November 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm #

    absolutely awesome post and it gave us some inspiration. after reading this we all sat down and discussed whether we had any “little cheesy exercise rooms in the closet” in our own business. thanks!

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