Have you ever wondered why you see some customers once every few months? How do you make your occasional visitor a regular and make a first-time visitor tell their friends and family about your venue?
Let us understand how you can go about exceeding customer expectations in and thereby increase customer loyalty with these useful tips. Most of which will not cost you a dollar.
1. Make the Right First Impressions
There is a reason they say that ‘First Impressions Always Last.’ It is true. Always be attentive to your guests’ expectations and needs, even before their visit begins. All marketing communications need to be part of a larger and more coherent marketing strategy with a clear brand direction to ensure brand continuity. The continuity then is translated into the physical experience. If you think you need to increase the quality of your venue fit out to elevate the physical experience read this blog: Want to increase your gaming revenue by 22% when venues reopen?
As the process for new visitors can be a little tedious from time to time. To guarantee your clients have a wonderful experience make sure that your staff are beyond proficient at getting customers into the venue in a speedy and inviting manner. Let us draw a parallel with the airline industry, do you want to be stuck in a queue with 100 other people trying to get on the plane OR be sitting in a lounge as someone gets you checked in. The underlying principle is the same that the customer is at the centre of the venue’s universe. This does not mean you have to have the same number of welcome attendants as guests but a variety of methods for people to check-in to the venue, whether it is an attendant a touchscreen kiosk or their own personal device creating a seamless check-in experience is the vital first impression.
Your staff are the touchpoint between your venue and the customer, they can make or break the customer experience. Training, systems, and processes allow for staff to operate independently in a consistent, positive, and confident way. Here are some key principles to keep front of mind when serving customers.
Encourage your staff to get to know the customers. Understand their preferences and build positive relationships. This may be as superficial as remembering someone’s drink or food order. Where they like to sit or even which league team, they support but to them it is a subtle cue that they are remembered and cared about. This is can play a strong role in repeat patronage.
Train your hosts to treat guests with a posture of appreciation. Your customers are the reason your staff have a job and it is a good point to bring that to their attention. A simple smile goes a long way, especially when you first walk into a new venue.
Listen to your customers!
Customers like to feel that their opinion is valued. Training staff to take on-board real-time feedback and communicate it back to the business can be difficult but is of the utmost importance. Put a whiteboard/noticeboard up for your staff to write down feedback from customers and report it back to you. A basic example could be “your chips don’t have enough salt?” If you get those 3 times in a month, see if you can improve that area.
3. Offer new incentives
Incentives play a huge role when it comes to meeting guest expectations in hospitality. Build up on great incentives to make new guests turn into loyal visitors. Think beyond complimentary welcome drinks and meals! Spend time to analyse your audience and ask yourself this question – “what is it that will be of importance for the guest?” That is why a variety of incentives that appeal to a variety of ages, interests, and family situations. Try to create as many new experiences as possible and test the market quarterly.
4. Seek Immediate Feedback
Why do negative reviews appear online? Guests who are displeased with their experience may not always be vocal at the time. Therefore, it is essential to seek feedback actively and carefully, before, during, and after their visit. Do not wait for a customer to have an issue or make a complaint. If you see a customer is upset you and you or your staff can remedy the situation, do so immediately. Many venues have dollar amount policies to keep customers happy i.e. if it costs less than $20 to keep a client happy any member of staff is allowed to remedy the situation with management approval.
All these factors play a significant role when it comes to enhancing the guest experience. Bottom line is that it is vital to maintain a personal connection to exceeding customer expectations and turning first-time visitors into repeat guests.
Guest expectations in the hospitality industry, today, are higher than ever and there are several factors behind this. The speed at which they can share their thoughts about your establishment or consume other customer reviews. They can use social media to see photos and videos of the décor, food, and amenities. Delivering on and exceeding customer expectations, therefore, is paramount to a venue’s success in increasing customer loyalty. When you can have a significant percentage of repeat or loyal customers, it acts as a firm revenue foundation and builds your reputation in the community as a high-quality hospitality provider.