Sunday, 27 March 2011

Trip Advisor Sympathy Vote

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get it as long as you get it!  And today, here from disaster central in Muntchurch is one of those stories.

Over the last 3 years we’ve worked hard and that’s been recognised by the travelling public who have written nice, not so nice and sometimes not really nice at all things about us on Trip Advisor.  Thanks to a happy aggregate of these varying opinions, CentrePoint on Colombo Motel has been in the top 2 Hotels in Christchurch since 25 Aug 2009.

One reason we’ve done it is because we deliver what we promise.  If our website says you’ll get a smile on arrival than that is indeed what you’ll get.  None of those “but we thought we would get….” Stories here!

This presented us with a dilemma after the 22 Feb earthquake.  In the space of 20 seconds almost everything good about us was destroyed.  True, a lot of people are entertained by Jeff’s ???(you choose the adjective) way of looking at the world and impressed by Naomi’s attention to detail, but we also got lots of points for being so close to the best Christchurch has to offer, and we lost all that. 

What’s more we were cordoned and curfewed for 17 days.  The dilemma was, how could we possibly take people’s money (we don’t do this only for love you know!) without feeling guilty.  These people booked on the good side of the shakey shake believing they would be staying in one of the best places in Christchurch!  The reality post 22 Feb was very different.  We still need the money to survive but we didn’t want to unnecessarily make people come and stay either.  The last thing we wanted was unhappy guests.  We’d rather try find a new type of guest that we can make happy. 

Cancellations galore rolled in after the quake, and we advised people to avoid Christchurch if they could, but we were able to fill a lot of rooms with international media and disaster recovery personal and this was our happy median - we were not disappointing anyone and we were able to sell rooms and keep some cash flowing in.

But we were concerned about how we could maintain our Trip Advisor status!  Sure Christchurch is seriously munted but it’ll slowly get better and we’ll be here guiding visitors and making sure they get the best out of what there is left of Christchurch.  So it would be nice to keep our ranking!

Step up the sympathy vote!!  What we have noticed since the quake is a lot of our previous guests stepping up and taking the time to write their reviews now.  It is truly uplifting. What can we say?

First we say thanks, thanks for writing and thanks for thinking of us. Second we say thanks again, cos it gives us a little lump in our throats to read the messages of encouragement from so many guests that have stayed with us in the past.

Our motel has been bloody good in the past and will be bloody good again, we just need to get through these first few months till Christchurch gets off its knees and past guest’s comments is one way we’ll do it.

To those who have taken the time – thanks. To those who haven’t – now’s good!

In the meantime, we’ll be getting info out as best we can, telling people about the situation at CentrePoint on Colombo Motel and how we can help you enjoy Christchurch.  Sometimes that will involve telling potential guests to stay in another part of town, but we’d rather do that than just taking their money.

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