After two years between its seventh and eight annual conferences, La Quinta's message to attendees at the Boca Raton Resort & Club was not one of physical and financial growth, but instead a focus on growing the brand's culture.
That's not to say there wasn't talk of RevPAR growth and a focus on driving rate, or franchise agreements and expansion into Central and South America, but the priority for both corporate and franchised locations was the new â€˜Here For You' brand customer experience CEO Wayne Goldberg introduced during the opening general session Monday morning.
“'Here For You' is a promise—a commitment—from each of us at La Quinta to all of our customers and potential customers around the world,” Goldberg said. “In everything we do, we're “Here For You.'”
The concept, which attendees will continue to learn more about through the rest of the conference ending Wednesday morning, is “about looking at our hotels from our guests' point of view,” said Raj Trivedi, chief development officer.
“It has the potential to make La Quinta the Nordstrom of the hotel industry, in terms of our guest services and delivery of a consistently high quality experience,” Trivedi added.
The last session attendees saw on Monday afternoon was a demonstration, and then assignment, on “clue scanning.” The demo showed how seemingly minor things, like a broken curb or well-meaning front-desk agent trying to speed things up, could easily add up to a bad customer experience. The overnight assignment was for attendees to identify and record clues and surface feelings experienced while shopping or dining.
We'll see what the results of the homework assignment are Tuesday and Wednesday, when attendees will learn more about the customer service initiative. Check LHonline.com for more news on that and the entire conference, including updates on the brand's growth, marketing and revenue strategies and initiatives.
La Quinta did not hold a conference last year because of the downturn.