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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