Sunday, May 20, 2007

Using Observation to Increase Customer Loyalty

The staff at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel is famous for keenly serving and observing the influential in their restaurants, spa, and hotel rooms. The hotel keeps careful records on its guests' tastes, as well as what they spend there. The managing director, Mr. Kasikci, does his own research and has perfected his own branch of semiotics- interpreting signs of wealth and sophistication. For example, he says, a woman in good jewelery but poor clothes may have recently inherited wealth.

The distinctions can translate into the amount of pampering customers receive. For example, pillow cases at the hotel come in three tiers - no monogram, two-letter, or three-letter monograms of the guests' initials. Top dogs get 3 letter monograms, which are harder to use with multiple guests. The hotel also washes guests' cars and leaves Fiji water bottles in the cup holders.

Such attention results in greater customer loyalty and repeat business.

You can build a stronger business by taking a few extra steps to learn more about your customers and what they want and need; you'll be surprised at some of the simple, low-cost requests they make that can advance your relationship.

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