I will start this article with a quote from the book “Raving Fans – A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowels.
“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers is not enough anymore. If you want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”
It starts with the basics – Serving
I just came back home from Social Media Marketing World 2018, and I captured a lot of great content and impressions from the event.
But I got really impressed and inspired by Pat Flynn.
I will be upfront and honest here I follow a lot of Social Media Influencers and thought leaders, but Pat Flynn was not on my radar. Though I had heard his name before I figured his content had not triggered my hospitality heart before.
His keynote speech was about “How To Build Super Fans That Speed Your Growth”.
Pat ended his keynote speech by asking us “Have You Earned A Fan Today?”
He earned one fan in me that day.
Pat uses Super Fans. I don’t care if you use Super Fans or Raving Fans. The important things are to understand the guiding principles for success.
And a key foundational principle to turn customers into raving fans is to start to serve your audience. A successful Hotel today has to provide value and serve their audience in some way, shape or form.
It starts with conveying stories that go into your Hotels customers mind and heart. What do they care about, what are their pain points, what motivates them, and what defines their success.
Hotels today has to be committed to ongoing improvements, excellence, and innovation. An effective framework that supports on-going training and continually improve best practices will raise the Hotel team standards.
When you and everyone at your Hotel Team are committed to doing whatever it takes to make your you earn a raving fan today that is when you move your customer into the sphere of your community.
It’s time to move beyond traditional Customer Service
Traditional customer service is the provision of direct service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest”.
Today new technology, new media, and Social Media have made a shift towards the customer experience.
To truly gain an understanding of customer experience, Hotels must know that it encompasses every aspect of their offerings-from the quality of its customer care to its reputation management, marketing, packaging, product and service features, ease of use, reliability, and beyond.
Listen to the music and the lyrics of your Hotels customers. Remember that silence is a message Hotels need to identify. It is important to listen to concerns as it is to listen to Raving Fans.
When there is the silence that is when your Hotel needs to start asking some sincere questions.
You have to start re-engineer those moments where team members were in direct contact with the customer and improve them in ways that differentiate your Hotel and achieve customer experience excellence.
Pat Flynn shared the importance of being yourself. It’s all about being authentic, vulnerable, open up, and invite people into the life of your Hotel.
Remember this is NOT about perfection but being effective. It is ok to fail once in a while as long as you are honest and transparent about your failures.
It is when you make your Hotel guests feel special they start sharing the amazing experience that had.
Deliver Plus One
A 10-minute Customer Performance is build up on simplistic but extremely effective principles.
First, Hotels can serve their customers’ needs they now know what they are. Second, your Hotel took time to ask, listen, and respect the customer’s opinions. Treating your Hotels customers as intelligent humans is extremely powerful.
Hotels that delivers Plus One has chosen to move ahead and take these principles one step beyond. They constantly monitor the customers’ need and alter the Hotels direction when customers alter theirs.
Listening to the customer is powerful but responding to what the customer says is dynamite.
Pat Flynn emphasized the importance of understating your customers language. He uses a strategy I found mesmerizing. He picks a selected group of his customers and does a Skype call with them. Here gets insight on what these people struggle with, and what is working for them, and what alternatives they wish was available for them.
Another very effective strategy he outlined was to provide customers with quick small wins.
Innovative and creative Hotels will find ways to model these ideas and provide a plus-one moment.
Build a Community of Raving Fans
Customers today need to feel they belong to a group. They do feel they’re important and that what they do, think, and say truly matters.
As a Hotel, you then are in a great position to focus on consistent ongoing improvements and the ability to alter your course.
With new profound support from a truly unique Hotel Community you can promise more up to a point that you are capable off, and then the Community support kicks in allowing you to deliver Plus One consistently.
When your Hotel announces a new unique alternative that mirrors the response from your Community, it will excite your community in ways that ripples to new uncontested markets.
Your Hotel has become a part of a journey that inspires a Community. The magic is starting to happen, and they will start rave about your Hotel.
The creative and innovative Hotel will stand out and position themselves as a relevant alternative.
Break out from the traditional Hotel offerings and become an inspiration for a new generation of Hoteliers and guests.
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Try something new it will magnetize your Hotel!
Be flexible and identify new ways to make guests happy.
As guest behavior and pattern continues to evolve, expectations will continue to rise. Navigating these changes can be challenging. Learn more about how we can help your Hotel.
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