Back in the good old days a hotel could abuse its clientele with relative impunity; anything from rubbery chicken in the restaurant to a rude receptionist, even the death or dismemberment of a guest could be swept under the (filthy) carpet with barely a ripple of interest to anyone beyond the unfortunate victim. These days, it only takes one unsightly pubic hair in the shower of an otherwise spotless bathroom to send the world wide web into a frenzy of uploaded images, self-righteous pronouncements about 'appalling hygiene standards' and tales of infants too traumatized to take a bath. Result? Plunging TripAdvisor ratings and plunging revenue as potential guests head for hair-free alternative accommodation.
The only remedy available for the hotel is to explore the new dark art of Reputation Management. So, for example, publish statistics from an independent research company demonstrating that 99.99% of the hotel's showers show no traces of pubic presence, or send the housekeeping team for 'Pubic Hair Recognition' training and post their certificates online to prove it. Hopefully some creative CRM will steer the ship back to profitability.
The only remedy until now that is...
...because an enterprising insurance company has just launched a policy called Hotel Reputation Protection Policy 2.0. The policy will cover losses of up to $35m caused by adverse publicity, including both lost business (measured by RevPar Index) and the cost of crisis management consultants. What a marvellous concept! But why stop there? There's no end of risk to running a hotel and all sorts of good reasons for not achieving RevPar targets. This could be a very lucrative seam to mine for insurance companies, so here's a few ideas to get the ball rolling..
1. Owners Expectations cover. Having installed flat screen TVs in all rooms, your owner now expects ADR to increase by a minimum 50%, an assumption based on the entirely reasonable commercial proposition that he wants his money back quickly and someone has to pay for it. The policy will cover the difference between real world RevPar and LaLa Land RevPar.
2. Bad Sales Team cover. Everyone knows that good sales people are worth their weight in gold and desperately difficult to find and retain. So why waste your time? Go ahead and employ the laziest, dimmest dreamer of them all who doesn't know her BARs from her elbow and let her fill the hotel with Groupons. We'll cover the difference in average rate between what was sold and what would have been sold had you employed the right person in the first place.
3. Unfair Competition cover. Results would be so much better if it wasn't for the fact that your comp set is comprised of higher quality hotels in more convenient locations that have been more recently refurbished. Not only will we cover you for the RevPar you would be achieving if those properties didn't exist, we'll also provide Competitive Impairment, a customized service that involves placing our own undercover operatives into your neighbours' properties and sabotaging their service levels. For example, our maids carry a secret stash of pubic hairs...