Saturday, November 23, 2013

Searching for a Doctor on the Internet

If you get sick in a local hotel, you might google “Los Angeles hotel doctor.” My name turns up but only with links to this blog. I don’t have a web site. Nor do my long-established competitors.

You haven't searched in vain because several young doctors turn up. All promise to arrive promptly and deliver superior care. Don’t take their word for it. Testimonials from rating services such as Yelp are unanimously enthusiastic. Five out of five stars.

In fact, sick guests are more likely to appeal to the hotel than the internet, but these doctors have been working their charms on bellmen, concierges, and desk clerks.

All this takes money and work, but it’s not going to waste. Old hotel doctors possess an exquisite ability to detect an interloper, and these doctors are definitely setting foot in my territory. Listening to my colleagues grumbling, I know they are not immune.

As I complain regularly, only a minority of general managers have the good sense to designate an individual, usually me, as the house doctor. I have never solicited hotel employees. It wasn’t necessary when I began because there was no competition. I’m too shy or perhaps too lazy to begin. The result is that I am losing business. In a way.  

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