Sometimes a perfectly good product is ruined because of bad communications. But good communications will not fix a bad product. Eventually, people won’t buy it, no matter how good your public relations or advertising or marketing is.
This past weekend I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina (which, by the way, is a great place for a vacation: lots to do, lots to see, good shopping and fantastic food). I stayed in a small hotel, which had a great location, close to many restaurants, the waterfront and sightseeing. I received an email from the hotel before my trip telling me they looked forward to my visit, and how to find the place. Nice gesture. After my trip, I received another email from the hotel thanking me for my visit and encouraging me to submit comments and suggestions. Again, nice example of customer communications.
On the communications front, the hotel is doing well. However, on the actual product the hotel offers, there was a lot lacking. The rooms were very small, with no outside windows. You could hear the phone ringing in the reception area. The included breakfast was on par with the Holiday Inn’s (that is, nothing special). The place was musty. Some of the front desk attendants had a slight attitude problem and a lack of professionalism. Overall, not my favorite hotel by a long shot.
Bottom line is that if your product has flaws, no amount of communications will fix those flaws. You can have a snazzy website, great PR and excellent customer service, but if your product doesn’t work, it won’t sell.
When I go back to Charleston, I will look for another hotel. Not because the hotel I stayed at did a poor job communicating with me but because I need a hotel where the rooms have windows to the outside and offers some privacy.