It’s inevitable when you are at the top of your game that someone will want to knock you down. We’ve won numerous awards, placing us as the Best B&B in Devon, Best B&B in the South West of England, and now 9th Best B&B in the World in the recent Travellers’ Choice awards from travel website TripAdvisor. It is understandable I suppose that someone from the outside looking in might ask how we managed to get to such an enviable position so quickly and how we keep it up, thinking it to be too good to be true.
There must be an element of luck, or perhaps being in the right place at the right time. It’s probably only a matter of time before that one guest comes along who, no matter what we did, would not be happy with their stay.
Without giving away too many secrets to competitors, there are mainly only two reasons why our reviews are so good and our customers so happy, resulting in acknowledgement from our peers in the form of awards.
Let’s compare us to an “average” B&B. They may well be just that – average. We invested heavily when we created The 25 so many of the issues you might have with alternate accommodation simply isn’t there. For instance – with our brand-new boiler and water system, it’s less likely to break down or have an issue with water pressure. With our re-wired house, we’ve made sure plug sockets are plentiful and in the right places. With brand new fixtures, fittings and furniture, everything is likely to be sparkling, in working order and good condition. It’s also a lot easier to keep it looking that way with regular and pro-active maintenance. And with the experience of our previous hotel, we now know what works and what doesn’t and learnt from our mistakes.
As many of you will know, we are pretty OCD about how things look and also cleanliness so we’re unlikely to ever be accused of anything being dirty. Our attention to detail keeps most things ship shape.
Of course, there will always be things that go wrong, but this comes on to my second reason – us. In other words, me and Julian make the difference. I ran customer service teams for high-end car manufacturers before going into hospitality, and have worked with the general public all my life. If and when things do go wrong, I am proactive to look for a solution and sort the issue quickly, then deal with the situation to make sure the customer is happy.
As friendly chaps, we’d like to think that if anything was wrong, missing or broken, our guests would feel able to come and tell us about it so we could rectify it. There’s no point going home unhappy and venting anger on-line when a simple trip down the stairs to reception would have sorted it within minutes. We keep spare kettles, TVs, bulbs, pillows and even mattresses in stock for that very reason, and can usually sort most problems in an instant. On rare occasions a room change might be necessary, but we make it as easy as possible by offering a complimentary drink in our drawing room whilst we sort things out and move their bags across.
Most reasonable people know that at times, things can and do go wrong, but it comes down to how you handle the situation and if a guest is happy with how you resolved their issue, they will often become your most devoted fans.
We don’t want to disappoint guests so we try and be very honest on our website and go into great detail about what they’ll get. If anything we under promise and over achieve. For instance, our smallest room is described very clearly as just that and we advise it’s best suited to shorter stays. We have photos of every angle of the bedroom and bathroom including sizes. The reaction of most guests when they walk into the Goodrington Room is “this is bigger than I was expecting” and they’re instantly happy with what they booked. There is nothing worse than booking a “Superior” or “Premier” room to find it’s the size of a shoe box with a small double bed and no room to walk around the bed.
Our regular guests see our Facebook and other social media posts and feel a personal connection with us which is maintained almost daily. This further strengthens their loyalty to us and our brand. They know how hard we work to make sure their stay is as perfect as possible and appreciate what we do at The 25.
If you’ve not stayed with us yet, we’d love the opportunity to prove to you why we get such rave reviews and so many awards. Have a look on our website, and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to take advantage of our reduced VIP rate when booking with us.
If you’re another B&B, or thinking of opening or buying a B&B then don’t forget that I run training courses over winter where I pass on a huge amount of knowledge so you have all the skills to become award winning too.