Friday, February 27th, 2009
Shannon, a front desk agent, had recently joked with a repeat guest (with whom she had a nice rapport) about aging. The guest was a bit self-deprecating about his own age and referred jokingly to his need for Geritol.
Unbeknownst to him, Shannon recalled the conversation and had a small bottle of Geritol waiting for him in his guest room when he returned and checked back into the hotel. Not only did Shannon’s pleasant surprise put a big smile on his face, it reinforced the relationship and genuine interest and affection she had toward him.
I priced a bottle of Geritol locally and with tax it’s $5.19. Was that a good use of the hotel’s petty cash? Before you answer, let me pass along some additional information that might help you to make an informed decision. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail message from the guest that was sent to Shannon’s general manager afterward:
“(Shannon) has made my stay at your hotel very remember-able and I guarantee because of her, whenever I return to visit our branch in your wonderful city, I will stay at your hotel. I will also recommend any of my associates, comrades and even competitors to your hotel.”
Bain and Company, the consumer research firm, refers to this type of guest as a Promoter. Promoters, as their name suggests, promote a brand’s reputation, accounting for 80-90 percent of referrals, are the least price-sensitive, and—not surprisingly—report higher repurchase rates than less-satisfied customers.
Sometimes we over-analyze what it’s going to take (and how much it’s going to cost) to turn customers into Promoters. As Shannon has demonstrated, it actually takes just a little effort and perhaps (though not always) a few dollars to make a big impression on a customer!
Your turn: What can you do today with just a little extra effort to create Promoters of your business or brand?