Over the past two months (we have been open for the summer season since May 9th), we have been receiving feedback from individuals that have stayed at the Lodge, played golf at the Lodge, and eaten at the Lodge — both tourists and locals. We appreciate the feedback, and try to log it so we can look back at the trends to see how we are doing, and adjust where we should improve and do so in line with our values and vision.
In order for everyone to understand how to provide feedback and truly make the Lodge successful, I would like to explain 3 points that can help.
1. We make decisions based upon multiple individuals who are in our niche market — not just one person’s feedback or experience, nor everyone’s feedback or experience
We will not make a decision based upon one’s person’s feedback. And we will be inconsistent in our product and service until we find what works, and then can spend time perfecting that. As a result, we will not get it right every single time, especially during the early period of this transition. This means you will have times where you will not have a good experience at the Lodge, and we will be considered a failure in some people’s mind after such experiences.
However, the last time we checked, the best baseball players did not bat 1,000%. Tony Gwynn, who has the highest career batting average, batted 338%. This means he did not hit the ball in fair territory 66% of the time on average. Thus, we will fail multiple times with our experiments and activities at the Lodge in order to learn and find what works with our target market.
But we will look at the data over time and over multiple visits and visitors.
In addition, we want to make it clear our goal is not trying to appease everyone in this world; otherwise, we will appease no one. Our goal is to make it an awesome experience for those that want an enjoyable wilderness experience within our two niche markets: 1. historical patrons that value the history of the Lodge, but don’t live in the past, and/or 2. outdoor enthusiasts that love the wilderness.
If you do not fit into either one of those niche markets, then it will only be luck that the Lodge is a place for you to spend time. Otherwise, there are a number of other wonderful establishments in the Copper Harbor and Keweenaw area which could possibly be establishments for you and fit your desires.
2. Give feedback while you are the Lodge, not after you have left
If you give feedback after the fact, then we can not make it right during the time of your experience. Rather, we possibly can improve the next time you are at the Lodge — which will be a different time, and a different place in some cases — and that is if you come back.
3. Give feedback to the person that you are interfacing with
People love to give me feedback. However, I receive a ton of email with people telling me what to do with the Lodge, and giving me feedback. I am not the person to handle that feedback, as I will forget or have other items I need to focus on based upon the daily operations of the Lodge (like running a mini-town). It is the staff member that you are interfacing with at the Lodge that can best help you and improve your experience; do not be afraid of having a discussion with Lodge staff when providing feedback — providing feedback should be a discussion, not a one way dialogue. [ Note: Making decisions based upon fear leads to suboptimal results ]
If you are respectful in providing that feedback, individuals will work with you. If you disrespect them, then they will call me in. If I have to be called in, then it is too late for you to give me feedback because that feedback will be put aside based upon you being disrespectful to the staff. Thus, you and I will lose the focus for the reason you are providing feedback — to improve your experience at the Lodge and improve the Lodge going forward.
I give the staff the authority to make decisions so they can make individuals in our target market happy. Thus, if I have to be contacted for the situation or you contact me directly, the feedback will not be taken any differently, and will probably not be acted upon as the person that interfaces with the customer won’t make the decision to get better. The time I should be contacted is when you feel that a Lodge team member is not having a discussion with you regarding your feedback.
If you are really interested in making the Lodge success, you will take notice of this post, as it explains how people in our target market can improve the their experience at the Lodge, and the Lodge overall.