One of the best ways to drive direct bookings is by growing and nurturing your loyalty database. Loyal customers have the biggest retention rate, spend more than the average buyer and essentially are a cheerleader for your brand.
Cultivating Brand Advocates should be an important component of your business strategy as it boosts your brand awareness, drives repeat bookings and creates highly influential word of mouth marketing.
Growing your loyalty database of Brand Advocates is a powerful and simple marketing strategy that keeps your hotel or restaurant customers coming back.
1. Create an amazing consumer journey
Create an amazing consumer journey by providing customers with the most comfortable dining or accommodation experience. Hotels and restaurants can demonstrate reliability, create a bond and show expertise and competency.
The growth of booking and comparison websites has changed the scene for how customers discover and book in the hospitality industry. However, this doesn’t mean that hotels and restaurants can’t take control of the situation and turn these customers into loyal advocates.
Easy ways to improve the consumer journey:
- Train sales staff to communicate politely throughout the process
- Recognize regular customers and call them by their names
- Teach staff everything they need to know about the brand, products and services
- Help staff to communicate more smoothly with potential customers
2. Multi-Channel Engagement
Keeping your business relevant and top of mind for your customers means that as a brand, your business needs to be available and present.
Stay connected and build that relationship with customers by interacting with them through all channels, whether it’s face-to-face, website, email, mobile app, social platforms or through the phone.
Keep the doors of communication open and flexible as there will be some customers that prefer more traditional and personal communication and others that request modern communication platforms.
3. Social Media Management
Transform your social media platforms and make them an effective part of communication strategy.
Get a clear understanding of who your customers are and which social media platforms they are using. Have a clear purpose of how you want to use social media and what you want to communicate and the objective of the post. Are you educating your customers? Is it promotional? Are you building trust? What value are you offering to your customers?
Reacting to Positive Feedback
Getting positive feedback on your social media platforms is a great example of brand advocacy working its magic. It’s also the best time to step in and to create an open dialogue to encourage them to tell you more about their experience.
Address the issue promptly, carefully, show understanding and promise a quick solution. And always keep your promises.
4. Solve Problems
We’re Human. We all make mistakes.
Deep down, your customers are aware of this. Be prepared to understand their remarks and provide a solution to their problem. Identify what went wrong, how you can solve the problem and how you can improve the service. Think of it as an opportunity to solve issues and prove brand reliability.
5. Educate Your Customers
Give your customers the insider tips.
Finding out that the upside-down pineapple cake being served to you is a secret family recipe from the chef’s great grandmother not only makes for a great story, but also serves as part of your brand story.
Make your customers feel like they’re part of our inner circle by taking the time to explain a few brand details, future plans, new services and or new menus.
Don’t force it otherwise it will sound insincere. Train your staff well and it will help them to educate your customers and turn them into genuine brand advocates.
Customer testimonials are the best type of brand advocacy.
A Nielsen survey suggested more than 80% of people consider personal recommendations the most trustworthy information about the brand. Make it part of your strategy to encourage customers to express their appreciation for your Hotel or Restaurant.
Public validation from your customers is valuable and no doubt will contribute to the growth of your brand and profits.