Ten Sure-fire Ways to Turn Customers into Brand Enthusiasts

By Richard D. Hanks Chairman and President, Mindshare Technologies | May 19, 2010

  1. Know my dog's name.

    Loyalty is all about the emotional connection. I
    want to know that you care about me and my business. If all I am is another
    greenback, then I'll take my greenbacks elsewhere. So, get to know me. For
    example, how many times do I have to deal with you, before you figure out
    that I am a "regular" in your store? Why, when I call my bank do I have to
    give my address over and over - don't they have caller ID? Why "know my
    dog's name?" Because, if you care enough to know about my dog, then you'll
    surely have learned about the rest of my needs.

  2. Make sure that your steak matches your sizzle.

    When you advertise,
    you are making promises to customers. Make sure you are prepared to keep
    those promises. If you can't walk the walk, don't talk the talk.
    Best-in-class companies don't succumb to the temptation to stretch the truth
    in their sales or marketing. Rather than promising the moon, just be
    prepared to deliver the telescope.

  3. Make it easy to do business with you: sell the way I want to buy.

    When was the last time you had a service experience and you walked away
    saying to yourself, "Now, that was easier than I thought it was going to
    be!" When I was at Marriott, I made it our number one marketing rule to sell
    the way that customers want to buy. For example, customers began asking to
    buy hotel rooms online. At that time, the internet was fledgling. Travel
    agents and toll-free phone calls were the primary methods for reserving a
    hotel room. Back then, no one could understand why anyone would ever want to
    buy something as personal as a hotel room electronically. Now, the bulk of
    hotel reservations are made online. The best way I know to evaluate yourself
    in this area is to question if you are following the platinum rule of
    service, "Do unto others as they would have done unto them."

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.