Telling the Truth

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Worst Practices  |  Case Studies  |  writing  |  Marketing

UPDATE: On October 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm a representative of Starwood Social Media Team commented on this post. Please take a look at the response.

Gaylord“Your call is important to us.”

“We love our customers.”

Are you telling the truth? Or is some marketer making something up in an attempt to sound good while hiding what's really going on?

You know what? Your customers can see through the smokescreen.

Truth: We're trying to save money by firing customer support reps and therefore average wait time is now over 5 minutes.
Marketing: Your call is important to us.

I stayed at the Gaylord National, a Westin property near Washington DC this week. The hotel sports a massive energy sucking atrium. It's really a rather nice atrium. I liked being in the climate controlled outdoors.

So is this the truth? (This is what the marketers say in one place.) "The Gaylord National Resort features a dramatic, soaring 18-story glass atrium complete with vibrant indoor gardens, flowing waterways, and panoramic vistas of the Potomac River."

IMG_1240 Or is this the truth? (This is what the marketers say in another place.) "One of your Heavenly® Shower heads has been turned off in an effort to minimize water usage and protect one of our most precious natural resources."

Does the Gaylord National want to protect the environment? Or do they want an atrium with water fountains and sunlight coming in during the hot day?

Or maybe this is the truth? Some bonehead convinced the Westin to install these newfangled shower heads and when the CFO saw the huge increase in water and energy use the CFO had a fit and told the boneheads to do something about it so they made up some hogwash about how they love the environment.

Or this: Westin Hotels really want to save the planet and some idiot convinced them that an atrium makes sense and now they are stuck with it.

Your customers can spot hypocrisy a mile away. What are you saying to people? Are you telling the truth?


Shower photo by David Meerman Scott
Atrium photo via Gaylord National site