Genuine guest loyalty is the Holy Grail of hospitality. Loyal guest will not only come back to visit in the future, they will endorse you for free, make recommendations to their friends, and protect you from your competition. When you can have a guest preaching your company’s superiority, they transfer  their credibility to your company and inspire others to buy-in.

However, guest loyalty does not come cheap. It is much deeper than a ‘rewards program’. Organizations spend incalculable resources trying to convince their prospective guests to patronize their establishments over others. While advertising and marketing can lead to great business success, personal recommendations trump any other type of business development tactic. Loyal guests want your company to succeed and will help you cultivate additional loyal guests.

The big question is, how do you identify, develop, and retain loyal patrons?

It might be simpler than you think. With the help of the University of Johannesburg and the Milpark Business School, a research study on developing customer loyalty was completed in 2008. It was discovered that the largest contributing factor for the number of loyal customers a company has, is directly related to the amount of employee enthusiasm. Thats right, when employees are enthusiastic about their jobs, companies, and products there is a significant increase in the amount of loyalty by their clients. It may seem logical, but how many companies actually invest in their employees’ enthusiasm?

Here are 4 tips you can use today to engage your guests and invoke their loyalty.

Have every staff member emote enthusiasm. When a guest feels that the people that work for your establishment are passionate about what they do, they will be open to engagement.
Treat each guest as a unique person. This may seem simple, but too often we see staff slip into a routine with cookie cutter responses and answers.
Be lighthearted! Having a positive attitude and not taking things too seriously will allow for your guests to feel more at ease. Many times this will lead to fewer complaints as well.
Give your staff your trust to handle guests in the best manor they see fit. Your staff is trained and often has great ideas about unique ways to interact with guests. Giving them the freedom to engage on their terms can build a culture of trust, understanding, and authenticity.
These tips will directly lead to a rise in guest satisfaction and increase in loyalty.

Stay positive, be happy, and always retain your enthusiasm!


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