Every component of your guest experience should be designed with one large goal in mind: achieving unwavering loyalty from every guest you serve. Your most loyal guests are the ones who celebrate you during good times and stick with you during tumultuous times. Every guest that walks into your venue has the opportunity to be your greatest ambassador, and the likelihood of this depends entirely on the experience you provide.
As you implement creative ways to regularly exceed guests’ expectations that leave them wanting more, take a look at how their experience extends beyond their visit, and what happens in between visits.
Hopefully, they are planning their next visit and already committing to it financially. Next, they are also hopefully telling as many people as possible how great their experience was, and therefore influencing others to visit as well, including those who were on the fence, never heard of you before, or never had any intention of visiting.
So what’s next? They’re coming back and they’re advocating for you too. They have become an extension of your marketing team. But there’s one more step.
The pinnacle of guest loyalty comes down whether they will go to bat for you when you need it most. Your most loyal guests are your army of defenders. Here’s why:
- They evangelize your business. It’s more that they tell people to visit; they also tell people who won’t visit why they should. And because they’re not paid to say it, their word is so much more powerful than yours.
- They set people right who are wrong. Now that is definitely something you can’t do. And by wrong, it can be factually wrong, or just an opinion that conflicts with how you want your guests to feel. While you can point them in the right direction, your loyal defenders can be less diplomatic than you need to be in your service recovery process.
- They aren’t just your marketing; they’re your PR team. By posting on social media and leaving glowing online reviews, they are enhancing your reputation far greater than your marketing team can. But when they reach the pinnacle of loyalty, they also take on a role on your public relations team – they’ll talk to journalists, bloggers, and the media about how great you are.
There are two very obvious benefits to all of this: a) this is a huge benefit for your business, b) and they pay you to do all of the above actions. First, this means that you absolutely must recognize and reward their efforts to each of these, but if we pull back, let’s quickly recap how you got here in the first place.
At one point, they had never visited you in their life, and they had never even heard of your venue. Maybe your venue did not even exist until recently. How do you go from not existing to have an army of loyal defenders?
The answer is probably not going to come as a shock at this point, but here we go: you delivered a superior experience that exceeded their expectations and the expectation that they had of all other alternative options. Not only was their visit spectacular, but the joy that they felt from visiting you lingered long after they left to the point that you eventually wove your way into the fabric of their lives. By regularly and creatively delivering “Wow” moments that surprise and delight, you aren’t just creating a great guest experience; you are creating an emotional guest experience.
Your loyal army of defenders are the most loyal guests you have. They are the most satisfied, the most engaged, and the most valuable guests that you can attain. Focus your main efforts on them and they will bring your business through even the toughest of times.