Brand recognition to a full 360°

Driving long-term customer interaction & retention in luxury goods & services companies

Number 1

The problem

Customer retention rates in the luxury goods and services sector continue to sit at between 10-30 percent in the top-tier brands. It remains exponentially more expensive to acquire a new VIP customer than it is to retain one.

Marketing and advertising get more attention and investment but the moments of truth in this sector often doesn’t happen online but rather, between human beings.

Yet, the productivity and efficacy of a brand’s most critical (and expensive) front-line customer services personnel can be very low compared to their true human potential. More often than not they are focused just on transactions instead of on building profitable long-term customer relationships. Employee training seeks to address these problems but this is very time consuming and costly.

Number 2

The solution

PRE:MIND’s technology solution adds value to existing high-end customer loyalty programs by empowering a brand’s customer facing personnel to be more effective and to provide a greatly enhanced customer experience. Across the spectrum of key VIP customer retention strategies PRE:MIND adds enormous enhancements.

Mobile for relationships

PRE:MIND provides sales and customer services associates with a powerful mobile solution to build relationships, not just execute transactions. In order to dramatically increase customer retention by equipping them via mobile devices to communicate with clients respectfully and intelligently and from a position of deep customer understanding. For the 20% of customers that generate 70-80% of revenue, PRE:MIND helps the brand’s personnel to cultivate a human connection.

Share & update

PRE:MINDs enables staff to share the customer profile transparently with the client and update their details and purchase history so that they can serve them better. This small and simple step earns the trust of clients and give valuable insights.

Reassign relationships

When sales or customer service professionals leave or are sick, PRE:MIND enables immediate and seamless reassignment of the relationship with the VIP. No longer will customers be frustrated when their favourite sales associate leaves the company or is not around. The customer is always transitioned to maintain a connection with the brand. When relationships are transitioned in a humanistic, honest way retention metrics rise.

Cultivate tourists

PRE:MIND enables brands to cultivate tourist customer relationships as deeply as local relationships. In many brand locations today, especially in major international cities like Singapore where most of the revenue is concentrated, the percentage of buyers who are tourists is extremely high, often above 50%. Tourists are often treated as transient purchasers despite the fact that many have interest in purchasing from the brand again.

PRE:MIND gives brands what they need to leverage global online capabilities and stores in the customer’s home city to build lasting relationships, increasing revenue across the brand’s multi-channel global network.

Number 3

How the magic happens

PRE:MIND empowers the brand

Immediate value-add

Brand’s sales and customer service personnel are immediately alerted to a VIP entering the vicinity (store, VIP lounge etc) on their mobile device so they can be prioritised. On the device they can access the VIP’s photo for instant recognition as well as their personal details, preferences and purchase history. They are thus empowered to provide a personal greeting and a fully informed customer experience that maintains the VIPs sense of exclusivity and reinforces their relationship with the brand. Enables more effective sales and/or customer service.

Mobile app

Brands will continue communicating with their VIP’s via their official mobile app as usual. The Brand will receive a PRE:MIND app-addon developed by our highly qualified tech-team. PRE:MIND will embed its hi-tech software within the Brands' app, and as it’s published - the VIP’s will update the app in a normal fashion over iTunes or Google Play.

Number 4

What it does for you

Merging online & offline personas

PRE:MIND’s back-end CRM allows brands to track all of their interactions with the VIP in one place - pulling in their online transactions and merging them with their offline transactions which can be directly updated to the CRM in the PRE:MIND app.

Enhancing VIP communications & PR

Brand’s communication & PR is more involved as they can segment the market & clients in ways that only the e-commerce market has been able to do.

Brand to brand exposure

PRE:MIND will enable brands to co-create value by leveraging segments of each other’s VIP customer data via the app to promote special offers and services.

Example

Brand’s VIP Person has travelled to NYC for holidays, and will as usual check in at e.g. the Four Seasons Hotel. Hotel Ritz-Carlton, whose target demographic encompasses the VIP, would really like her to stay at their hotel instead. Ritz-Carlton will thus approach Brand and ask if they can collaborate on a segment of Brand’s VIP’s who are travelling to NYC. In this marketing collaboration a VIP who fulfills the segment requirements (e.g. not living in NYC, shops for at least $X/year, female, etc.) would – at the end of her visit at Brand’s venue – be approached by the sales person, offering a free cocktail party on the hotels’ roof-top, on the behalf of Brand & Ritz-Carlton.

As the VIP enters the hotel lobby and is ushered into the elevator to the VIP-area on the roof-top, she will not only enjoy the hospitality & great service of Ritz-Carlton, but also leave NYC with a fond memory of the hotel, dramatically increasing the likelihood for a repeated visit.

ARTICLE No.2

Promises are cheap

Exclusive experiences are the new currency

Hotel brands have the ability to make a real difference in the lives of customers, so...

where is the promise of exclusive and individual service for VIPs?

It is a big promise to make but if it can be fulfilled, the spoils are boundless. Unsurprisingly, hotels like to focus on their high-end customers and ambassadors as such loyalties drive long-term growth and brand strength. Analysis reveals some personalised services to this group, called “Insider benefits”, include complimentary internet access, discounted room rates, or exclusive access to discounted vacation packages, and redemption of reward points.

In a world where those with money can independently access unique and spontaneous experiences–scuba diving one day and jungle trekking the next–are insider benefits and reward points enough?

The reality is that VIP retention rates fluctuate between 30-45%, and while loyal VIP customers usually spend up to 167% than a new VIP–in other words, losing a single VIP is a 700-1100% loss on investment. Hotels are left with a stark choice: either control costs and forget about making grand promises or make investments and deliver on the promise of genuinely exclusive and individual service.

If brands decide to adopt the latter approach then hotels and luxury brands need to find new ways to achieve exclusive and individual service. The key is knowing the profile of your top customers; what are their priorities, what are their preferences, reasons for staying with you, and what would make their lives easier. It is encouraging that CRM’s collect this information; however, it is of little use collecting dust.

Currently, the VIP experience relies too heavily on inconsistent communication and interactions with hotel property staff. When staff leave the company or a new VIP visits where there is no familiarity, the relationship to the brand becomes vulnerable.

PRE:MIND
personalizes
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Chair lounge
Sofas

Hotel staff need to be empowered to use CRM information, develop their interpersonal skills and judgement to cater to the needs and wants of VIP’s. It means knowing the profile of a VIP even if the staff member has never met them before. A VIP’s relationship and trust should also stay with the brand at all times. The alternative is to risk creating a trust-gap and the opportunity for VIP’s to switch brands.

The next step is for hotels to work out how to give VIP’s what they want. The good news is that imagination is as limitless, as the number of possible promotions to be created. Brand to brand promotions are a fantastic way for marketing and loyalty teams to brainstorm new ways of creating an exciting and unique VIP experiences. Unique is what VIP’s want, but cannot buy.

Existing loyalty programs should be revamped by encouraging VIP night stays with unexpected rewards, making rewards personally meaningful, and by reshaping the customer experience.

Make that promise.