There’s a double-digit spend increase expected for most-affluent US consumers according to the most recent study from the American Affluence Research Center. So with this in mind, its time to focus sales efforts on elite affluents. How? Luxury brands are fine-tuning customer experience.
British department store Harrods sent its employees from its luxury watches department to Minding Manners, a London-based etiquette and protocol consultancy. Chanel and Burberry require multi-cultural awareness training to take advantage of new customer markets (e.g. Chinese and Indian consumers) and to better understand the different cultural expectations, needs and shopping habits of their international customers. Being prepared to deal with them can greatly increase the ability of sales personnel to provide a superior service.
As our esteemed colleague, Chris Ramey of the Luxury Marketing Council said to Luxury Daily, “Too many luxury brands, particularly those that are not global tend to believe by hiring nice or beautiful people that they need not train them. Making the assumption that salespeople intuitively understand how to serve the affluent is remarkably short sighted and will undermine any luxury brand.”
Picture this: insurance salesmen visiting a Ritz-Carlton hotel to immerse themselves in a luxury experience, followed by a presentation by the HR department on “How to Treat Ladies and Gentlemen”. That’s what Mike Weinberg of Gateway Insurance did with his sales teams to help instill a service ethic that’s critical in dealing with the ever more demanding affluent customer.
With this in mind, we see an opportunity here for luxury hotel brands to capitalize on their long history and experience of serving the affluent, by offering training programs (boot camp?!) to other brands either as a standalone profit center or in conjunction with an overnight hotel stay or meeting package.