You are the weakest link. Goodbye!
Have you ever been let down by a business that you held in high regard? I know I have many times. And how often is that the fault of a particular person? The delivery driver who wants to get back home. The burly bouncer at the entrance of the jewellery shop. The hotel receptionist who's had a bad day. I know it's s cliche but as a luxury business you are only as good as your weakest link. And many times that weak link is a human being.
These human 'touch-points' can affect a customer's opinion of your brand deeply. You've heard the old adage: it takes years to win a customer and minutes to lose them. Well just think of all the money you've spent courting, persuading and looking after each precious customer, just for a member of staff who's had a bad day to ruin it for you in an instant. Expensive mistake, eh? So what can you do about it?
I think it's all about empathy. Putting your staff in the shoes of your customers is a great start. Often wealthy customers are wealthy because they've built successful businesses themselves. Now they are reaping the fruits of that labour and allowing themselves to enjoy the finer things in life. The last thing they want to be met with is a frosty faced barman who looks as though they doesn't give a stuff. So get your staff to think like your customer: someone who is discerning and used to being pampered. Maybe take them out for a day to see how other businesses do it and show them the best and the worst customer service at both ends of the scale.
Bonuses and incentives based on good customer service also work very well. I mean genuine, sincere feedback, not the 'will you fill out this form to let my boss know good I am at my job' approach. That's just vanity. So train your staff well and reward them when they are praised for their great service. You won't go far wrong.
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