Accommodation Through

Kajane Mua is a low to mid price accommodation option in Ubud, Bali. This photo features one of their delightful free standing bungalows, on the edge of the paddy fields.

Last year I was doing some research on the best site and associated app to use for booking accommodation for my travels. The most passionate viewpoints came from folks who made regular use of 

Making Life Easier For The Traveler

I’ve found that the app, in particular, works well and makes both booking and checking in easy.

It’s great not to have to bring paper copies of bookings with you on the road, though you still could if you’re worried about loss or damage to your smartphone. These days I keep copies, in pdf form, on my laptop which comes with me on the road.

If I was to stumble into a hotel, motel or retreat naked and without luggage or any electronic device I guess I could borrow receptions computer and log into my account, perhaps via my Gmail or Facebook account details. That should be enough to prove my identity and, in addition to my tanned and buffed body, convince staff and security alike that I am, indeed, the Travel Photography Guru for which they have a room waiting.

Actually I book under my own name (i.e., Bilbo Baggins) but, for tax reasons, always try to get my business name listed on the invoice.

Discounted Accommodation

When you're searching for accommodation on the website look for big savings, often expressed as percentages, in big red letters

Beautiful carvings on the verandah of one of the delightful bungalows at Kajane Mua Hotel in Ubud, Bali.

Providing Feedback In An Open Environment

I’m listed as genius status on which I believe you can achieve through booking and/or providing feedback on a relatively frequent basis. It’s really just another way to bond you to the business, though their might also be some extra advantage when it comes to social proof (i.e., review/feedback provided to other consumers from a source that is deemed to be a credible). 

I pride myself on providing honest feedback. I’m particularly happy to praise great staff and service, as I feel management needs to know how valuable and positive an impact staff can have on customer experience. And the value of that experience is not only to the business in question, but also to the town, city or region visited. Given the importance of social proof customer feedback is more important than ever in the success of both online and traditional brick and mortar businesses.

More often than not it’s positive feedback that I provide.

Negativity Is Dangerous

Mind you I’m often surprised by the variation in feedback provided by a range of consumers on the very same product. Staff performance and procedures can change over time, but a room is unlikely to change very much within a period of a few weeks.

The fact is that some folks are just unrealistic in their expectations of the product or service in question. I think most of us though have the capability to determine what’s reasonable feedback compared to a rant from an angry individual with unrealistic expectations.

It’s unfortunate that a sense of heightened power and significance can be derived through an expression of anger. It’s one of the reasons why folks with a lower sense of self esteem may become bullies. Pity them and help them if you can. But don’t let them infect you with their own negativity.   

A mirror reflecting light and shadow on a lovely, simple wooden desk at Kajane Mua, Bali.

Is Providing Feedback Always Worth It?

Providing quality feedback takes time and energy. That’s why I’m less likely to provide feedback when the accommodation or service is, to my way of thinking, of an average standard.

Actually it’s not my nature to make a fuss or draw undue attention to myself, and that’s the reason why I think I’ve only once told a restaurant or cafe that their food was bad.  Generally speaking I’II just choose to eat somewhere else next time.

That approach is probably okay in your own neck of the woods but, when traveling, you might only have one opportunity to dine in a particular city so reviews from other travelers become particularly important.

In a tourist town proprietors may have little interest in continually trying to improve the quality of their product or service, given that there’s such a high turnover of visitors to the area. If you’re only staying a day, the fact that you won’t return to their business isn’t all that relevant. But if your negative experience finds it’s way to other visitors, via social media and/or an online review, then the proprietor in question may be more motivated to improve their product or service into the future. 

Over the last year or so I’ve decided that, when the accommodation is far below the standard advertised and/or staff service is far below par, then I’II say so. And I won't mince my words in doing so.

Such an establishment is likely the way it is because of a poor attitude to its customers that starts at the top (i.e., owners and/or management) and seeps down to staff. In fact great staff are almost always hired by great management. But the reverse is also true.

What I’II No Longer Tolerate

Poor attitude and poor levels of customer service should neither be ignored nor rewarded. I want to do what I can to improve the experience for owner, manager, staff and customer alike. Poor feedback may well effect business, but what’s the point of providing feedback, for the business in question or their potential future customers, if it’s not honest.

Businesses have the opportunity to act on your feedback. The difference in an open forum, such as on the website, is the potential for far more people to see that feedback than was the case in the past. No longer can negative feedback be thrown in the bin without management seeing it and/or having the opportunity to act on it.   

Feedback And Reviews | Time To Have Your Say

I’m very interested in what you have to say about your experiences with and/or other such online accommodation services. I’d love to see what you have to say about reviews, particularly when they’re provided on online sites and are viewable by the business and staff in question as well as by potential future customers.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru