Christmas, a time for giving something back to those we love, a time for creating precious memories and when it comes to luxury hotels, for strengthening relationships with customers. As merry groups of guests descend upon your hotel for their fill of festive cheer, there really is no better time to develop those emotional bonds that will endure, creating customer loyalty that will deliver long after the last morsels of Christmas cake have been devoured. Here are our 12 ways to engage your customers this festive season!
On the first day of Christmas: If you have one word to encapsulate your customer to staff interactions during the festive season, intimacy should be it. At such a special time of year, take the time to ensure that you are giving enough time to customer interactions, focusing on making the customer feel welcome, treasured and above all happy.
On the second day of Christmas: Carols sung around a beautiful tree, mulled wine sipped in front of a crackling fire, bracing walks in the countryside or city with the promise of a four course luncheon as a reward, it is experiences like this that will create those emotional bonds with your hotel. How is your Christmas event calendar looking?
On the third day of Christmas: Some say that commitment can be a by-product of brand attachment, harness the commitment that is likely to develop in guests at this time of year by ramping up your loyalty programmes.
On the fourth day of Christmas: Mood is directly linked to customer perceptions and at Christmas there are myriad opportunities to improve, manage or maintain mood utilising not only your staff to customer interactions, but customers’ sensory systems.
On the fifth day of Christmas: Vision is perhaps the sense that we most focus on as hoteliers; dressing the hotel for the festive season and ensuring all is as welcoming and warm as can be; displays, decorations, all will contribute to the overall Christmas atmosphere for both staff and customers.
On the sixth day of Christmas: Similarly, a pleasant smell can stir emotions, invoke memories and promote good mood, thankfully at Christmas there are many divine odours to choose from; cinnamon, cranberries, orange and cloves, and nothing beats the fresh scent of a real tree.
On the seventh day of Christmas: Sound can assist in creating atmosphere and can affect a customer’s feelings and behaviours, creating an internal sensory experience when they listen to the carollers whilst ensconced in a cosy snug of the bar, then again as they hear the song away from your hotel; sound can evoke, transport and remind.
On the eighth day of Christmas: The oft overlooked taste sense will contribute to the overall perception, mood and experience of customers. That the Christmas dining menu hits the spot rather goes without saying, but welcome nibbles and festive treats dotted around the hotel will contribute to the indulgent largesse of the season.
On the ninth day of Christmas: Maximise mood and perceptions through tactile sensations, introducing new textures that promote the warmth of the season, perhaps luxurious, soft blankets, invitingly placed to wrap up in after an excellent Christmas lunch.
On the tenth day of Christmas: Delivering the perfect Christmas can put pressure on the team; don’t be too busy that you forget to thank the people that make it all happen.
On the eleventh day of Christmas: Capture all that engagement with opportunities for customers to share their memories, utilising social media. The most engaged customers are the ones that will deliver positive word of mouth for you.
On the twelfth day of Christmas: If you’ve committed to the 12 days of Christmas engagement, chances are your customers are feeling pretty committed to you. A well-timed reminder of their stay can be just the prompt they need to book again for next year.
About the author
Paul Russell is co-founder and director of Luxury Academy London,www.luxuryacademy.co.uk, a multi-national private training company with offices in London, Delhi and Vishakhapatnam. Luxury Academy London specialise in leadership, communication and business etiquette training for companies and private clients across a wide range of sectors. Prior to founding Luxury Academy London, Paul worked in senior leadership roles across Europe, United States, Middle East and Asia. A dynamic trainer and seminar leader, Paul has designed and taught courses, workshops and seminars worldwide on a wide variety of soft skills.