The customer is (almost) always right!
Why customer service is the most important part of any hospitality marketing strategy.
Once upon a time, in the world of hospitality, you’d rely on A-boards and posters stuck on windows to communicate with customers. Then the advent of social media provided leisure and hospitality businesses with an amazing way of targeting customers directly. Of course, a witty A-board doesn’t hurt from time to time.
It’s not news that smartphones are completely integral to everyone’s lives these days, and a study in 2016 says we’re checking our phones 2,617 times a day with heavier users 5,424 times a day. This super quick evolution of how we use our phones and how often, has led to unprecedented opportunities for hospitality and leisure businesses to drive brand awareness, customer loyalty, tone of voice and, ultimately, sales.
We’ve seen a rise in hospitality brands turning to video as a way of showcasing a venue, new menus, and services. If done well, video is a fantastic way of promoting a business and obviously has the potential to go viral very quickly.
We often employ a full mix marketing strategy when working with bars and restaurants, combining strong branding, big creative ideas, social media, PR, events and digital marketing. These integrated strategies focus on brand positioning, brand perception and customer experience, often starting with thorough market research and sometimes menu-testing and trialing, purely for professional purposes of course. Focusing on the customer journey and experience rather than sales alone, means we can identify potential customer service issues. There’s no use executing 'shiny' marketing activity that’s let down by poor service or bad food!
A recent study by Forbes states that over $62 billion dollars a year is lost on poor customer service and that consumers place value and experience over price every time. We all know that customers now look straight to Facebook and Twitter to field questions, talk about their special requirements and to let everybody know if they’ve had a bad experience. A business's timely response to questions and complaints is so important and we recommend all customer enquiries are dealt with within the hour, if not sooner where possible. A quick response and well-handled complaint can sometimes turn a negative experience into a positive one.
In a more and more crowded marketplace, good customer service and a quality menu are vital. We’ve lost count of the number of bars and restaurants that we’ve seen recently create the hype but not back it up with quality food or good service. As a result, we wouldn’t return - no matter how brilliant the marketing.