by TLF Research
Does being a high roller guarantee better service and therefore mean you are more likely to be a satisfied customer? The simple and straightforward answer would seem to be yes. Picture Richard Gere in Pretty Woman producing his exclusive, unlimited credit card and the ensuing service borne only of those who sense a big tip is in the air.
However scratch the surface of service in these platinum plated environments and everything may not quite be as it seems...Having recently undertaken some research within the luxury car sector I was amazed to find the polarity of service levels experienced by high net worth individuals spending in excess of £100,000 on a car, across a whole range of different manufacturers.
Further afield the internet is littered with reviews of our celebrated Michelin starred restaurants that prove spending top dollar on your meal is no guarantee that you will enjoy a perfect night out and recommend it to all your friends and family. But why not? Is it really that difficult for businesses to be able to replicate the perfect client experience without fail and are the needs of high rollers different from the rest of us?
The real challenge comes, I believe, in the people themselves. High rollers come with big wallets but often even bigger expectations. They are more demanding and have a greater depth of experience to draw on. Additionally they are more than capable and confident in articulating their displeasure should you fail to meet their exacting standards. Above all they prize individuality, being able to stand out from the crowd whether it is their one of a kind supercar or their VIP table behind the velvet rope.
But as a business why bother going to all that trouble? Well, in these recessionary times a recent study by Barclays Wealth shows that there are 619,000 millionaires in the UK, up from 528,000 in 2008 and that the millionaire population is set to grow by another third by 2020. If you were looking for a growth market with disposable income...you’ve found it!
So how can businesses efficiently and effectively generate the level of satisfaction in these demanding customers that will make them loyal advocates who will patronise your establishment for years and bring all their friends as well? The answer is no different for the high roller than the average man in the street. Get to know what matters to them and keep your promise in delivering that. What changes is that you may have to bring the research down to a sample size of as little as one!
What doesn’t work is simply producing a bigger bang because your customer has more bucks. What came out of the research from our luxury car client was that their customers weren’t impressed by the shiny reception area with large screen TV and branded coffee. Whilst they expected the right environment, what really mattered was being treated as an individual, promises being kept and the process being as efficient as possible.
It means taking your customer insight to a micro level and really getting to know your customers. Add to that a degree of flexibility in your offering that enables every customer to enjoy their perfect experience and your business has every chance of hitting the jackpot.