I haven’t posted in awhile due to just being busy. We have launched our new product and going through varied customer validation points. It’s a good thing but trying to be more consistent with postings so I’ll just have to do better.
So I was over in the UK recently for business and spent some time in Bristol. Our travel agent was given instructions to book a Hilton brand hotel in central Bristol as we would be using rail service out of Bristol Temple Meads Station. She found that Bristol had a Hilton Hotel and booked us there. This is where data quality matters…..
The Hilton Bristol is actually in a suburb called Bradley Stokes. I found this out when I hopped in my taxi at the rail station and asked to be taken to the Hilton. His response was “That is pretty far….” I have found that “far” tends to be a qualitative measure so I said no worries that is the place I am supposed to stay so off we go. 40min later we arrive at the Hilton Bristol Hotel in Bradley-Stokes…indeed it was far.
So why does this matter? Well of course I could have mapped it myself ahead of time but that defeated the purpose of delegating the task. The travel agent took Hilton at their world and given the hotel indicates it is in Bristol and given that Bristol isn’t a huge city it couldn’t be that “far” away and still be in Bristol.
I have had this experience once before when visiting Miami’s South Beach for a long weekend. The hotel we had booked via the American Airlines Vacation Desk indicated that it was located in South Beach. It was a four star property so we said okay let’s do it.
Well……This hotel was actually located on the far end of North Miami Beach and it was a 20 block walk to South Beach proper. After calling the airline and having them map the property by address while on the phone with them everyone agreed that the hotel had been extremely generous with statement of being in South Beach and AA refunded the monies.
So what really matters here?? Hotels in general take liberties to be more closely associated with certain areas. It is always best to use some type of mapping/location based service to verify the location BEFORE booking and traveling. That is the personal responsibility piece but on the corporate side, both American Airlines and my travel agency could also be proactive and using technology to confirm locations of their vendor (in this case hotel properties) to be certain that they are where they say they are.
Locality does matter and when proper address standardization and mappings are applied it can yield a much better customer experience versus the poor data quality exercises these companies provide today.