STEP 1: ASK AND LISTEN
I talked in the last chapter about how Omni Hotels now offers free ironing to their most frequent guests. Although this amenity is available to any member of their Select Guest program, the insight and idea for it came from actual conversations that Omni had with men and women who travel. They simply asked customers what they hated about traveling and what they wished they could have. They conducted a survey of business travelers and found distinct differences between what male and female travelers wanted.
Males tended to have more extreme feelings about ironing than females. Although 71 percent of women agreed that ironing clothing was a “pain and chore” compared with 57 percent of males, Omni Hotels’ study found that women are less likely to avoid it. In other words, women don’t like ironing, but they do it anyway.
Men, on the other hand, take their adverse feelings for ironing a step further, with a full 20 percent claiming that they “hate” it. Overall, men are more willing to take actions to avoid ironing: steaming wrinkles out by hanging clothes near a hot shower (51 percent) or purchasing new wrinkle-free clothes for a business meeting or buying a new shirt while traveling to avoid ironing (51 percent). I chuckled a bit when I read these statistics. More than half of the men who travel for business are buying specific clothing or steaming their clothes, just to avoid ironing! That’s an active dislike of a necessary task from the majority of one of Omni’s ...