In the world of Hospitality, we talk about it, but seldom strategize how we can make that difference in the Guest Experience. It really is all about the attention we sincerely show our Guests. Every interaction should be maximized with our care and sincerity. But, how do you make that happen, for a personalized Guest Experience can be memorable, your Guests will talk about it and they will return. Lets look at a few examples with lodgings and restaurants.
Here is a leading question for that lodging executive committee. When was the last time you “roomed” a Guest? That’s right, actually escorted them to their room. We’re not talking the VIP, royalty or special visitor – we are talking about the regular Guest. What a chance to make a difference. You greet them, by name, at the Front Desk and start that memorable walk - a warm welcome, telling them about your property, promoting your restaurant(s), your spa, your property amenities and then taking them through the wonders of their room and the usual course of instruction for the TV, the A/C, special features of the room and the bath. You leave them your card, and, after their stay, drop them a written note. Now, ponder the effect if all your senior managers did this one day a week for an hour or two and the results of this endeavor. Need I draw a picture? Focused, targeted good will and fond memories of that personalized Experience. You have a new member of the Brand family, I guarantee it.
Moving into the restaurant realm, you have just as many opportunities to personalize the Guest Experience. It starts with using the name of your patron. For fine dining and casual, it starts with the name of the Guest, which you typically have from reception and the reservation log. Everyone who attends to your Guest should utilize that name, from your Hostess to the Server to the Manager. Even in the Quick Service environment, this can be accomplished, as Roy Bergold the former Chief Creative Officer of McDonald’s notes, “If it is a carryout order, ask for his first name and write it on the bag. The food is now personally his and no one else’s. And if it is an eat-in order, put a little card on the tray with his first name.” The power of a name!
It goes without saying, that data is the goal of the game. With a name, get an e-mail address and use technology to further develop the relationship through your social pages. Mr. Bergold also had a wonderful suggestion, “Allow your customers to give a percentage of their sale to their favorite charity, not yours…Your customers get a warm feeling when their meal helps their grade school, and you introduce yourself to the community when the check is handed to the principal. You personalize yourself to both your customer and your neighborhood. The key is that the customer picks the charity or school, not you.”
We live in a world of numbers – antiseptic, homogenized, cold and calculating. That effort to personalize the Hospitality Experience makes all the difference in the world. Try it!
LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, servicing our clients from offices and resources in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions and helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the National Football League, Avis Budget Group, Madison Square Garden, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at www.LRAworldwide.com.