Continue to build the relationship after your hotel guests or restaurant diners have left

Show you appreciate your hotel guests’ or restaurant diners’custom; a little thank you note of some description goes a long way, even better if it is personalised in some way; hand written better still. This is an ideal time to ask for feedback, testimonials for reviews too.

Keep in touch. Tell your customers what you are doing. What have you done as a result of customer feedback, what’s new, what awards or accolades have you received.

Promote events. Let your customers know what you’ve got coming up in the future. Even if they won’t be there to take advantage of it, it may prompt a return visit or they may pass the details on to others who might be interested in the event.

Help to build rapport by taking the opportunity to meet with your customers’ or prospects’ in other environments, too. And remember that a lot of networking is done online today, so consider how to use social media to help you build your relationship with your customers.

Reward loyalty. The very least you can do is to remember your regular customers. Capture their details and preferences – do they like a particular room, prefer a specific table or need a special pillow? Remembering these small details can make your customer feel valued.

Why not help your customers to celebrate? Note their birthdays and anniversaries on your database, and then invite them to the hotel or restaurant to receive their special gift or offer, e.g. invite wedding couples back for their first (and subsequent) anniversary, invite customers to celebrate their birthday and get a cake or free bottle of bubbly, invite businesses to celebrate any awards, keep a note of special anniversaries for local businesses – their AGM, awards dinners, anniversary of their launch. People don’t normally celebrate alone, so these provide ideal opportunities to bring in new customers.

Make your offers worthwhile to encourage people to bring their friends or colleagues and make up a big party. Receiving a birthday card with a voucher – or an invitation to celebrate a forthcoming anniversary – is a pleasant surprise, and adds a very personal touch. If you can hand write these, even better (it can make a huge difference and really demonstrate your interest in your customer).

Building your customer relationship is an on going process, and there’s no denying it takes a bit of effort, but effort that will reward you with more business, and it’s still one of the simplest ways to market a hotel.

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2 thoughts on “Continue to build the relationship after your hotel guests or restaurant diners have left

  1. Catherine

    Good post and I agree with most of it but I would tread with extreme caution if doing this part:

    “Keep in touch. Tell your customers what you are doing. What have you done as a result of customer feedback, what’s new, what awards or accolades have you received.

    Promote events. Let your customers know what you’ve got coming up in the future. Even if they won’t be there to take advantage of it, it may prompt a return visit or they may pass the details on to others who might be interested in the event.”

    There is a really fine line between letting people know what is going on with your hotel and spamming them. Doing it too often would, in my opinion, have the opposite effect of bringing them back. It would me anyway.

    Great idea to send a handwritten card with a voucher for birthdays/anniversaries. Something like that would certainly prompt me to book for the party if it were feasible or if not feasible at that time, would certainly prompt me to return to that hotel.

  2. Caroline Cooper Post author

    Hi Catherine

    Thanks for your comments. I agree you do need to tread carefully, and that fine line between keeping people informed and being seen as a spammer. I think it is because of these concerns that many hotels don’t use this strategy and then miss out on so many potential opportunities.

    Here are my 3 tips to help overcome this issue.

    The first step is to ensure you always seek permission to add the customer / guest to your mailing list, and ask if they are happy to receive occasional emails with news and offers.

    The second is to make it very easy for them to unsubscribe (most auto responder programmes make this very easy – just one click and you’re off the list).

    Finally, the better you know what your guests are interested in the easier it is to only send them information which is of interest. This therefore might mean segmenting your list so you aren’t, for example, sending businessmen information on weddings, and vice versa.

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