Tampa, FL: Tuesday. Arriving at the Westin Harbour Island by free airport shuttle. The driver is very friendly, and offers cold water and pretzels. A great experience so far.
Pulling up into the circular drive and what do we see? This sewage treatment boat/floating restroom. Hmmm.
The staff are super-friendly at check-in, although my reservation is a little messed up. Free wine in the lobby is welcoming and sets a nice tone.
The green apples are a colorful, delicious touch for hungry arrivals.
Wednesday. That sewage boat is still sitting there. You have to have an amazing experience to overcome a sewage boat in your driveway. They recover well from the reservation screw-up, send up a new toothbrush lickety-split when asked, and fix the shower head promptly (it was spraying all over the ceiling this morning.) But am I more or less forgiving, starting out with the sewage-boat first impression?
Thursday. Overall, I have a very good hotel experience and would stay there again, as the recovery in those moments of truth was very good. The sewage boat is now gone, so my last impression is a good one.
Tip of the day: While it may be a temporary situation that a dumpster is in view or a sewage boat is parked on your front driveway, it's not temporary to your customer. It's their permanent first impression. And that impression colors the rest of their experience with you.
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