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Living in the UAE can be expensive.

While there have been steps towards making things more affordable, such as decreased rent and lower average room rates in hotels, going out in the city can be heavy on your wallet.

Value for money is more important than ever which begs the question: is price the only thing that really matters?

Are people still willing to pay full price for an experience? If so, is there a particular scenario where price is less important?

How much do discounts and deals really influence someone’s spending decision?

Is it dependent on age or nationality?

My curiosity got the best of me and while I had my own assumptions of what the answers would be, I put it out to the public. …

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The way customers are made to feel after an experience or interaction is what they remember, and it is also the reason that they will return.

It is human nature to want to feel connected to those around you. This connection allows you to feel understood and comfortable in any situation.

This is how you need to make your customers feel: connected, understood and comfortable. If you can do this, you will be laying the foundation of trust and loyalty which is key to the success of any hospitality business.

But how do you do this?

Building rapport is one of the most fundamental ways to do this. It allows you to build relationships with others quickly, gaining their trust and confidence. …

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Did you know that in 2018, businesses all around the world lost a total of $75 billion due to unhappy customers?

According to NewVoiceMedia’s ‘Serial Switchers’ report, that number is an increase of $13 billion since it’s last report in 2016.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money.

In a market where competition is continuing to increase, especially within hospitality, businesses can longer keep their customer experience on the sidelines. It needs to be front and center.

In fact, it needs to be your number one priority.

Customer experience has become a crucial battleground for businesses — and the losers are losing big —…

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As a business in the hospitality industry, the success of your business is entirely in the hands of your customers.

When competition is as fierce as it is today (and it’s only increasing), customers have all the power. If they’re not happy, they can simply take their business to someone else who is doing almost the exact same thing as you.

It’s harsh, but it’s the reality.

Customer retention has never been as important as it is today.

Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one — Harvard Business Review

If that’s not enough, research shows that if you increase your customer retention rates by just 5%, your profits can increase by 25% to 95% (source: Harvard Business Review). …

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If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know that customers today value experiences over materialism.

They also want to feel like an individual, as if they’re valued and cared about wherever they choose to spend their money.

If you’re able to tap into these emotions and make your customers feel this way, they will be coming back to you.

“Your product derives value, but it is the experience that you create for your customers that keeps them coming back.

Emotions are so powerful. They are what people remember and what drives them to behave in a particular way.

In this case, you want your customer’s emotions to bring them back to you time and time again. …

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In today’s fast-paced world where we all live through our mobile phones, people are yearning for connection. They want to feel like an individual that is part of a wider community.

This can massively work in the favour of businesses today who can create this sense of community and inclusion for their customers.

We all know that competition is getting more and more tough, and businesses need to find ways to stand out and hold onto their customers.

Loyalty equals success.

In order to create loyal customers today, you need to turn them into fans of you, your business and what you stand for. …

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In order for businesses to stay relevant and on top of their game, they need to be continuously improving based on their customer feedback.

This improvement should be done in a structured manner that allows you to really be intentional with how you go about implementing various initiatives.

And obviously, the ultimate goal is that it helps you to keep your customers happy and coming back.

Action plans are a simple way for you to keep track of what it is that you’re aiming to improve and how you’re going to go about it.

It’s also a great way to document all of the action you and your team are taking to enhance the experience for your customers. …

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We live in a fast-paced world where anything we want, we can get with the click of a button. The world has become smaller and more connected than ever before.

This world is the only one that the younger generations have ever known. This is their ‘normal’.

As much as this may seem daunting to Generation X and even the elder millennials, the expectations of the younger Generation Y and even Z are what we all need to start delivering on.

This is because the rise of the millennials is here.

Businesses need to adapt in order to survive.

The only way to do that is to first understand what it is the modern spender expects and then figure out how you can deliver on that consistently and effectively. …

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How a space is designed is something that can often be overlooked by both the end-user and the business itself in terms of how it affects the customer experience. However, it is literally the foundation.

Competition is fierce, and so everything has to be about the customer — including the design and infrastructure.

When you open a restaurant or hotel, you want the team, systems, processes, policies to be centered on the customer and their experience. So, it’s vital that you set the foundation for this from the very beginning with the infrastructure itself.

In this article, I’ll highlight the 3 main ways that design can impact the customer experience and what you should be doing to set yourself up for success. …

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In today’s competitive market, it is vital for businesses to make sure that they are not staying stagnant.

In order to ensure that you’re moving forward and striving for success, you have to be continuously improving. And not just any improvement; focused, intentional improvement that has your customer at the center of it.

Every month, at a minimum, you should be sifting through all your customer feedback data, whether it’s from a survey, comment cards, mystery shopping, online reviews or anything else that you have in place.

With this data, you should be analyzing it to highlight reoccurring themes and trends. Perhaps this month, you notice there’s a massive increase in billing issues or a significant number of complaints regarding the new salmon dish you’ve recently launched. …


Chanel Venter

Originally from South Africa, I now live in Dubai where I run my own mystery shopping and consultancy business for the hospitality industry |

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