Loyalty and trust will support confidence

By Petra Clayton

Following on from my previous article about the differences between frequency and loyalty, I wanted to highlight an opportunity we need to be focusing on in the hospitality sector right now.

Despite the challenges of announcements from government that again disrupt our logistics, plans and marketing there is one area that continues to be most impacted: Consumer Confidence. The announcements this week may seem to be focused purely on social activities and gatherings but they have and continue to impact the business meetings and events industry and hotels and venues across the UK. Why? Because we instantly react with panic and concern and we retreat as consumers. The government put doubt in our mind about what we can and can’t do so we stand still, fearful of getting it wrong or causing harm.

So what do we need to do? Well, marketing is most certainly the best way to convey messages to our target audience, but what we need to do is to capitalise on our existing customers who already know and trust us. Our loyal audience.

They will trust your communication, your service, your approach and your business. So don’t stop communicating with this audience, keep them informed, keep sharing and keep posting positive stories, promoting packages, outlining your approach to a safe hotel or venue.

Keep them coming back

What we shouldn’t ignore of course is that consumers are going to be less fickle. They will have less time to dart from one hotel to another or search a myriad of venues. When a consumer (either business or leisure) stays or books an event with you or even just dines with you and they have a great experience they’ll be back. A year ago they would have said “That was great, where shall we go next.” Now they don’t want to take risks so even a simple meeting in your venue could lead to a higher repeat rate as they feel confident you will continue to look after them and they don’t want to risk going anywhere else.

We are all exploring a new way of working but when we find somewhere that works and provides us with confidence to continue, we’ll shout about it and we’ll be back! So not only will they come back but they’ll be one of your ‘loyal ambassadors’.

Are you set up for loyalty? Do you know how to communicate to drive trust? Are you making the most of your database and your current bookings? These should all be priorities right now to carve incremental revenue opportunities for the next three months and beyond.