By Katie Simpson on April 14, 2014
Tags: GoCanvas Marketing
The Grand Budapest Hotel, the new movie by Wes Anderson, tells the story of the last great days of a European hotel. A hilarious winding tale, it focuses on Monsieur Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), the concierge who runs the hotel. Watch Gustave closely and you'll see a case study for a successful business.
Near the beginning of the film, we see Gustave ordering many employees around a hotel room. Gustave asks direct questions to different people, as well as gives direct clear answers. Not only does he understand all of the guest's belongings, but also where they should go, and how to help escort the elderly lady from the hotel.
Gustave's attention to detail makes him an asset not only to his clients but also to his employees. The visitors to the hotel feel special and cared for because they are known as people. It also helps his employees because he gives them clear directions, making their work easier.
Attention to detail of the work isn't the final piece-- it's the foundation to good business. For instance, one customer of ours found that losing those invoices was costing them up to $10,000 a month (hafsco link here). A simple issue of organization was reducing their cash flow and hurting their business.
At one point, Gustave is in prison, accused of a crime he didn't commit. What does he do while in prison? He serves the other prisoners food, even continuing his sermons on service and how to treat customers.
He may be in prison, but he's still committed to service. Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures
As absurd as this sounds, Gustave shows an undeniable and unbreakable passion for his work as a concierge. While passion may not be the sole reason for success, it is a strong motivating force. For Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, even Mark Zuckerberg, passion helped keep them focused, and gave them the energy pursue and tackle incredible challenges. There may be aspects of your work that you hate, but passion will help you overcome hurdles and improve your business.
Do you have to love what you do as much as Gustave? Probably not. But passion is undeniably a part of creating a truly sustaining and worthwhile business.
Monsieur Gustave teaches Zero, the new lobby boy, his own strong service ethic and focus on putting the clientele first. Zero learns to read the elderly ladies body language, blocking "unseemingly sights", to providing lighters before the gentlemen even begin to ask. They aren't merely responsive, but anticipate their clients needs.
This focus on anticipating customers' needs or desires is a struggle for businesses, even today. Not only do you have to be open and receptive to customer feedback, you have to imagine how you could do even more for them.
You don't need to have Gustave's innate attention to detail or Zero's incredible determination. Before anticipating needs, find ways to improve experience. Some ways you can create simple but powerful improvements include:
While in prison, Gustave shares wonderful baked goods with his cellmates in prison. While a short scene in the movie, Gustave does this for no ulterior motive. But this gift benefits him unintentionally. Gustave wins the trust of fellow prisoners, and becomes involved in a plan to flee the prison
Gustave stumbled across what a lot of businesses are discovering today. When you give, people want to give back to you. It builds your reputation, creates a sense of trust. Trust is crucial in making your business credible and forging deeper and longer lasting relationships with customers.
You don't have to give everything away to succeed as a business. But a few ways you can give are:
A main reason for the Grand Budapest Hotel's success was Gustave's relationships with the female clientele. His care often became sexual with the elderly ladies. It becomes clear that many come to the hotel just to see Gustave.
While Gustave's relationships are at the extreme, he hits on an important aspect of business: Creating emotional ties with his customers creates loyal and lasting relationships for his business. Thus, people stay at the hotel longer, return more often, and speak highly of their experience at the hotel, becoming referrals marketing the hotel.
So what are ways to create a relationship with your customers?
The old European Hotels may be dead, but these lessons are alive and well. What else has helped you run a successful business? Leave a comment and let us know!