7 Ways To Attract & Retain High-End Clients
A study conducted by Harvard Business School revealed that high-end customers are among the first to jump ship and switch vendors. Even if your customer service reaches rockstar levels, a competitor who offers a better experience could pick off even your long-time clients. Harvard researchers Buell, Campbell, and Frei concluded that brands in the business of serving luxury clients must maintain spotless service records if they want to thrive over time.
The Differentiating Factor
Customer service is really the differentiating factor for businesses who hope to continue serving high-end clients and business who feel lucky just to keep their doors open another year. All other factors being equal, you've got to implement luxury client retention strategies in order to remain competitive in the high-end transportation space:
1. Understand Your High-End Clients
Make it your mission to truly understand the type of customer you're trying to attract. More importantly, know that these clients’ needs can change drastically over time.
Don't advertise your luxury shuttle bus as a vehicle for night club nights out if your ideal customer is more interested in using it for roadshow transportation or wine tours.
2. Purify Your Marketing Messaging
Do you provide bus services for proms, weddings, and other retails events, when you don’t really have any interest in it? Expert Tiffany deSilva recommends you stop spending resources on marketing to customers you don't really want.
There's a good chance parents of teens and brides will find your brand, anyway. Make your marketing messaging laser-focused so no one is confused over the fact that you're a luxury brand.
3. Highlight Your High-End Offerings
Luxury clients want convenience, customer service, and consistency. This also includes offering high-end equipment to complement your high-end service, such as late-model luxury sedans, SUVs, Sprinters and buses.
They probably don't care about much else, unless it somehow enhances your service offerings. They want something truly valuable, which means it’s about the experience, not the price point, so avoid highlighting pricing.
When you talk about pricing, you put your brand into the trap of becoming a commodity rather than a service.
Remember: When value exceeds price, price is no longer an issue.
4. Consider High-End Add-Ons
If your organization is looking to expand your product and service offerings, consider how they help you better meet the needs of luxury clients.
deSilva points out that high-end consumers value "personal attention, done-for-you products and services that save them time, money, and energy, and exclusive add-ons."
Every extra dollar you invest should meet at least one of these criteria.
5. Consider Your Front-Line Employees
Every single one of your front-line employees, from dispatchers to detailers to drivers, must understand your mission. They must exceed expectations every time, without exception.
Your company needs to implement a zero-tolerance policy of outstanding service and continually train your staff to better understand your luxury clients.
Consider ways to ensure your drivers and dispatchers have more skin in the game of providing the best customer service in your market, potentially through tactics like a performance-based monthly bonus program.
6. Implement Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Surveys can have a bad reputation among consumers, but they don't need to be long and laborious. Use a simple platform for reaching out to your customers immediately after their trip to ask them about their experience. If anything was less than outstanding or excellent, immediately reach out to the client to determine how you can make the situation right.
7. Reward Your Clients
Personalized "Thank You"s matter immensely, especially in an era where most communications are impersonal and digital. Hand-written thank you notes or small gifts of appreciation tailored to your client's interests and needs will show that you listen and really appreciate their business.
These tactics are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to providing the sort of service that luxury clients come back for time and again.
Grech Motors is a high-end coachbuilder founded by Ed Grech, who currently serves as President and CEO.