The New Marketing Norm: Service in America Sucks

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The guest experience is the new marketing norm for today’s consumer. In 2010, 36 percent of companies expected to compete mostly on customer experience. But by 2016, that number had jumped to a staggering 89 percent of businesses.

In today’s modern world, where social media feedback sites and online communities significantly influence customer spending, the experience you offer and how people write about that experience is more influential than any advertising dollar you could spend.

In 2012, Bain & Company research found that 80 percent of companies believe they deliver a superior guest experience. Do you have any idea what the percentage was when they surveyed their customers? Just 8 percent. While we think we deliver a great experience, our guests might think differently. Whether we like it or not, how your guests think is critical to your brand and your reputation.

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Look at it this way: Do you have a cell phone? Okay, do you use your cell phone to get on the internet? Now the last question: Do you made purchasing decisions based on what you read on the internet?

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Well, I would submit to you that your guests and customers do the same thing. As a business owner, I hate websites like Yelp!, but as a business owner, I pay very close attention to such websites. I might not like what I read about what the guest is saying, but I definitely make operational adjustments based on what I read.

In the end, it goes back to the fact that your people represent your brand and your culture. And culture is the behavior of your company and its people. It forms your reputation and your reputation is your brand.

Read this: Be More than Good Enough: Transform Your Bar into a Destination

Want more content like this? Kelley Jones will dive deep into the psyche of guest service and why it often only reaches levels of mediocre to bad at the 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas. His session, taking place on Monday, March 25 at 3:00 p.m. and titled "Service in America Sucks," also offers some interesting insights and tips on how to identify great hires and train them into a culture of hospitality. Register now or get left behind.

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