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How is your dating life going if you… Give out a reward card on your first date and after each date you punch a heart and offer a reward of carnations after 5 punches and roses after 10? For last-minute dates, you offer double points (two punches)? You offer specials such as a free dessert if your date has not gone out with you for 6 months? The only way to describe your dating life would be “NOT good!” Your best friends may even consider an intervention and ask you “Why are you trying to buy love? Why are you being so desperate?” You may be feeling uncomfortable with this discussion itself. But many brands do this exact thing to increase loyalty, as they measure loyalty by squeezing out one extra visit (date) from a customer. What is loyalty? I describe it as being “FAITHFUL, TRULY COMMITTED, DEVOTED, REGULAR, STAUNCH, or ALWAYS THERE”...

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How would you feel if you found out that your date was tracking where you go, what you do, and was found going through your credit card statements? You may feel that you are being STALKED. Shouldn’t your date simply pay attention to you and get to know you? Many brands do the same thing and buy every data point that is available on their customers and analyze it to better “target their customers.” To build a long-term relationship, brands should be able to say yes to the following three questions: Is the TRUE PURPOSE of data gathering to benefit your customers? When Amazon studies customers' buying patterns and recommends what they would really like, it makes customers feel that the data gathering is “all about them.” The same way when customers share their name and information, and you use it to recognize and reward them, it makes them feel special. Is...

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Once you align your brand in the feeling business, it is important to quantify the value of positive feelings you are generating in your customers. Your customers always walk in with an anticipation and if you surprise them with something nice, it will start the experience on a positive note. Then you can build on it by adding more experience elements that make them feel joy and once the joy overflows, they get elated. The continuing overflow of joy takes them to a “MUST SHARE” state; where they must share with either a small group of friends or on social media. This sharing is Word of Mouth (WOM), the most credible brand endorsement you can ever get. Identifying the one thing that you can do to surprise your guests immediately after they walk in and then adding more, are sure ways to generate Word of Mouth every time. Value of WOM: Priceless...

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Every customer, every day walks into your store with anticipation. Everything you do or don’t do impacts your customers’ feelings and all the feelings blend to influence the customer’s relationship with your brand. Hence it is the Customer Feelings that defines your success. THE FIRST FEELING SETS THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE: What is the first feeling your customers have in your store? This is a momentum builder. A positive first feeling creates a positive halo that will go through the rest of the experience and make them feel that they made the right decision to visit. A negative first feeling can start lead to doubt if they made the right choice. Difference Between Feelings & Experience Elements Experience elements = Operator’s check list. You must add a “will do what it takes attitude” that will result in that feeling in every guest every time. An Example: Can A Glass Of Water Make Or Break An...

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Over the years, I have seen that for most hospitality brands, especially restaurant chains, the guest experience drops the most at peak times.  In fact, for some brands, nearly half the customer dissatisfaction comes during peak times. WHY IS THIS THE CASE? Imagine your brand is designed to serve 100 customers at peak time. That means if 100 customers come in, each is likely to experience the brand at the 100% level. What happens if 110 guests come in? Then the 110 guests must share the experience and each get 10/11th of the experience; or 91% experience level. The worrisome part is, for the brand to operate at 91%, nearly half the guests may get below 91% experience level. Is that acceptable for guests?  Will the diluted experience make them want to come back? If 120 guests come in then the level drops to 83%. If 130 guests come in, then the...

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