top of page

When a ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜†๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ inspires a ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜†๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ.

[Or how Jessica and Juan made me do something I wasn't going to]

Today, I delivered a keynote at the fabulous Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Abu Dhabi. I know, I know it's a tough life... ๐Ÿ˜‰

As ever, when presenting, I pay close attention to the experience of getting to and into the venue. Usually, there's something I come across that I can use to illustrate a point in my presentation.

The trouble with a hotel that prides itself on exceptional service, is that they tend not to give me much material to work with. But then I noticed the keycard holder.

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—ป

The back contains an advert for the hotel chain's mobile app. Rather than saying "๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ", it features a fictional conversation between a hotel guest and the concierge; the kind the app can facilitate.

'๐˜'๐˜ฎ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต. ๐˜ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ' writes Jessica, a guest.

'๐˜‹๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜บ, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ'๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ' responds concierge Juan, a minute later.

I read the dialogue and smiled.

๐—ž๐—ฒ๐˜†๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—”๐—ฏ๐˜‚ ๐——๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ถ

In part, because it reminded me of the countless times I've stood outside my hotel room and found my keycard was no longer working. The trek back down to reception is never fun.

The idea that I can call on a rescue mission without having to go down to reception, is incredibly appealing.

So, I downloaded the app. A fictional conversation had managed to persuade me to do something I probably wouldn't have done, if they'd just asked me to do it.

The other reason I smiled is because Jessica's situation is very (cor)niche. She's most likely to be ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต if she's used her keycard to access the elevator to get to her floor and then lost it en route to her room. ๐Ÿคท Yes, I know, there are other possible scenarios...๐Ÿ˜‰

But Juan isn't judgmental. He's there to provide excellent customer service. Regardless of how Jessica has got herself into trouble, he's going to help her. Implicitly, no questions asked.

That, I realised, was actually the reason I liked the idea of having the app. I don't know why I might need help from the hotel staff, but having that option is appealing.

๐—จ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ

All of which explains why I've downloaded an App I had absolutely no intention of getting.

It's also why I gave the keycard holder a starring role in my Ethics & Compliance-themed keynote.

Here's the lesson I shared:

If we just think of influencing human decision-making as a matter of making a logical argument, we'll miss opportunities to make more powerful emotional ones. That applies to persuading people to download an app and to far more important things.

A big hello to all the lovely people I met today!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page