Will They Still Love Me Tomorrow?


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We just returned from a lovely vacation in the Caribbean. As we’ve done for the last 30 years, each year we find a new place to relax and recharge.

These properties take pride in providing exceptional service. The staff quickly learn our names, food and seating preferences, and ask about the interests of our family members, so they can recommend the appropriate activities and outings. This level of personalized attention is always impressive and adds greatly to the quality of the vacation experience. However, once we leave the properties…all the love and attention vanishes!

How is it that these wonderful properties, which value personalized engagement on-property, do not sustain the engagement once we leave?

We know from our previous experience with hospitality clients such as Starwood’s Luxury Collection and Orient Express, that customer retention is critical. Once a guest crosses a certain threshold, such as 2+ visits, they are very likely to return multiple times. Many of these guests will often bring additional family members.

So, given the importance of retention, why isn’t all the customer information they have gathered during our stay used to drive highly personalized communications per our preferences?

Please refer to the Investor’s Business Daily “Target That Marketing” article which provides voice of the customer marketing tips and guidelines.

They know our names, the names and ages of our children, our interest in adventurous sea and land excursions, and our love of art, foods and wines. Imagine the exciting and targeted communications, updates and offers which could be sent based on what they know about us!

With all this rich information, all we receive after our stays, if anything, are generic newsletters and generic offers.

It’s not just the many Hospitality marketers that are missing the boat. Think of all the millions of Retail purchases just made during the holidays, with all those opportunities to ask customers their interest in receiving future information related to the items they purchased.

It makes you wonder why so many companies still don’t “get it”. It seems that as we enter 2011, the goal of building the relationship and earning the repeat purchases still lags behind going for the short term “quickie sale”.

So how about a New Year’s resolution to value your customer today…and continue to love them tomorrow?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


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