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Giving resort guests all the tools they need to have a great time.

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There are a lot of layers that go into loyalty. How traditions start is tough to nail down, but at the core of most is an experience that people would love to repeat. Something that went so well, was so fun, was so worth it that they can’t wait to do it again.

And again…and again. And what does it take? Let’s refer an NPS vs return rate dataset

nps vs return rate chart

…to be reminded that all it takes is having a great experience to increase that likelihood.

As marketers, we sometimes forget how much impact we can have on the experience a guest has after they book, so let’s dig into three areas I think about a lot.

#1) Set Realistic Expectations
Sometimes we shy away from pulling the curtain back a little further because we’re worried someone will see reasons not to come. And perhaps that’s true, but it’s also true that a pissed-off guest can cause more harm than good in the long run so I think it’s an area we could err on the side of more often.

It reminds me of a tweet from Sugarloaf a few years back, where they took the fact that it was raining and shared an optimistic message instead of a negative one. Transparent and inspiring, not either/or.

#2) Show Them Awesome Hacks
Next, we need to use our channels – our automated emails, website content, signage, etc. – to make sure guests don’t miss those simple, awesome things that are so often the highlight of peoples’ trips. Maybe it’s where to snag that perfect family photo, maybe it’s the free activities for the kids, maybe it’s that new drink people are raving about.

I think back to the list of “famous” things that resorts offer. These are those perfect layers to add to an experience that start to build a tradition.

#3) Prevent Bad Experiences
For years, though, I’ve felt that our biggest opportunity comes from helping folks avoid the things that ruin vacations. We know upset guests are often the most vocal, so these are easy to find (online reviews, survey responses, the front desk, etc.).

But I also think we can do a better job and seeking them out, because often they may not be happening at our resort. For example, struggles at the airport or with the rental car counter or road construction delays they weren’t anticipating may put them in a sour mood before they ever get to the front desk.

If you can layer in high, but realistic, expectations, a few delightful experiences on top of the room/tickets they booked, and help them avoid the common pitfalls?

That’s a great start.

Any guest arriving today could end up starting a decade-long tradition, but that streak won’t start if their experience is lacking. Yes, a lot of people you can’t control will hurt/help that, but you can do a lot from your end too.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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