An easy way to impress
Many years ago we stayed at a hotel in Canada. It was off-peak and the large hotel wasn't full. Every evening for five nights the owner served us dinner. Every evening he introduced himself, asked where we were from (no other Brits in the hotel at the time), and explained the short menu and the buffet starter arrangements. Every evening. Not a flicker of recognition. Still the same spiel, despite us making it increasingly obvious that we'd heard it before. I don't remember much about that trip, except that it made me even more cynical about 'scripted service'.
Luckily that kind of thing is rare. Visitors want to feel special. They'll think positively about you if you can demonstrate (in words, images, deeds) you have what they want, and that you understand their needs. Do this and they'll feel grateful and tell others.
Simple, but how do you do it if you attract many different kinds of visitors? And if you're not really a mind-reader?
There's one simple way to differentiate between visitors. It can have an instant impact.
No matter how many market segments you attract, they all belong to one of two groups:
- people who have never been to your business/area before
- people who have been before
It's not intrusive to ask someone if they've been before. You could do this in advance of their visit or when you see them. If you or your staff don't usually meet your visitors, you can offer the two distinct types of information in writing, with two simple headers: 'First visit? Start here!' and 'Been before? Welcome back! Here are some extra ideas to enjoy your visit'.
This simple division will help you to offer exactly the right information, tailoring it to their needs. Some of what you say might be relevant to both groups but your starting point will be different. It will also enable you to offer the right kind of information to encourage your visitors to return and to recommend your business and area to others.
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