Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Blog, Business, social media | 17 comments

I just logged in, err… I mean, “arrived at” the Sheraton Hotel in Boston.

I was greeted by a friendly front desk receptionist who checked me into my room. As she was processing my information she asked if I had a computer with me. “In fact, I do” I told her. She went on to explain how the Sheraton Hotel has free wifi in the lobby. “That’s great” I said, “but I don’t sleep in the lobby. What about in my room?” She responded with, “Wifi in your room cost, $12.”

“Why not give me free wifi in my room?” I said, a bit upset that the Sheraton doesn’t offer complimentary wifi. You know what her answer was? Simply, “The Sheraton doesn’t do that”.

Guess what… That’s a huge problem for me. I don’t want to watch your TV, and I don’t want to talk on your phone. I bring my own computer, tablet and phone, but in order for them to work well, I need Wifi, and I find it unacceptable that an industry built around convenience and lifestyle accommodations doesn’t consider Internet access as part of the room package.

INTERNET IS NOT A LUXURY, IT’S A NECESSITY!

Especially for bloggers! By not including Interntet in our stay you’re either taking advantage, or you don’t recognize Internet based business as legit. Either way it’s disrespectful for those who need the Internet. I’ll repeat it… Especially for bloggers!

Will Social Media Save the Day?

The very first thing I did when I got into my “disconnected” room was tweet @sheratonhotels from my room. They were quick to respond, and a few interactions later they located my reservation and asked for my email address to follow up. Great, except I never got an email.

Influencers, Your Time Has Come!

I’m not joking when I say, “Bloggers are the celebrities of the Internet” And the thing about celebrities is they have the ability to influence the behavior of others. Just ask President Obama if Clooney and Oprah played an important role in his elections.

Now when you have influencers using your service, you (Sheraton Hotel) need to take the time to understand who they are, and what their needs are. In my case, I need Internet access, and shouldn’t have to pay $12/day ($4,380) a year for it. You want your hotel rooms to resemble a night’s stay in my house, then include Wifi. Take away your tiny TV with it’s confusing remote control, and your antique telephone, and give me Internet access so I can use my laptop and tablet to get work done.

How hard is it to cross reference your guest information with their Facebook account to see if they are a blogger, or if they work an online industry like SEO, or maybe they love sharing pics on Instagram. These people need Internet more than they need a sample of body lotion.

Repent and Change

  1. Pay attention to who your guests are and what they need
  2. Monitor social media outlets
  3. Follow through with customer service
  4. Identify influencers and treat them special

Use your voice

If you agree that companies like Sheraton need to get real, and stop adding fees for Internet access, join me in a tweet:

These thoughts are my own, and in no way reflect those of my employer.

If you’ve got thoughts of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below.