6 • Customer loyalty through learning

Customer loyalty – that’s when people keep coming back for more because of the customer service experience you deliver. What can you do as a customer service leader to create loyalty from your customers?

In this case study podcast, you'll hear from Sandy and Alex Stoddart at Blacks Hotel in Ophir, New Zealand on how they've turned an isolated rural pub hotel on the Central Otago Rail Trail into a memorable experience that generates customer loyalty.

PODCAST • 12 minute listen

In this podcast episode

I went on location to the beautiful Central Otago region of New Zealand's South Island to find out in person about a customer experience success story that was too good to keep hidden. When you hear people raving enthusiastically about the food, service and atmosphere of a relatively isolated rural pub-hotel, it's a story worth looking into.

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Hospitality businesses in out-of-the-way locations rely on creating customer loyalty for their survival, and Blacks Hotel in Ophir is no exception. When people tell you it's worth travelling past other places to get there, this makes it a go-to destination.

Sandy Stoddart is a Scotsman who's created a unique atmosphere in this family owned and run hospitality business, which draws in regulars and visitors from across the world alike. With no-nonsense humour, great food and a passion for trying new ideas, I asked Sandy and Alex to share their recipe for success in creating customer loyalty.

In this conversation, you'll learn from their experience in running this hospitality business:

• How creating a personal customer experience is key to customer loyalty
• Why quality counts and the importance of quality in creating their unique customer experience
• Why people keep coming back to experience their personal brand of service.

The lessons they share aren't unique to hospitality. Anyone in customer service will find this podcast full of valuable insights into creating customer loyalty.


It's about making continuous improvements in the business. The only way to do that is to take on board the feedback that you get.

Alex Stoddart, Managing Director, Blacks Hotel

Lessons to learn

The key learning points you can take from this podcast and apply to your own situation are:

  • First impressions count - customers form a view in the first 5-10 seconds, so make sure you're smiling!
  • Quality in your product and service is key in creating customer loyalty
  • Learning from customer feedback and complaints is critical for continuous improvement
  • Innovation and service improvement keeps people coming back for more
  • Creating a unique customer experience is the bottom line for building loyalty

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