Are you hitting the mark with your staff?

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The hospitality and entertainment industry has seen some remarkable changes. Loyalty programs have become a huge topic as we all strive to build our business and develop a relationship with our customers.

It is also relevant to look outside our little window and understand what our key competitors are doing. We are not saying to replicate them, however to completely understand our patron’s habits we need to look at the broader horizon to recognise and define who are our key competitors are.

We hear many people rattle off local pubs, clubs and of course the casinos as their venue’s competition. However have you considered Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Wok in a Box, McDonalds, or KFC? And of course the list goes on. At the end of the day life is full of competition and now more than ever we are also fighting against online gaming and online shopping.

With the evolution of technology there are a mass of ways we can communicate our message to locals including new and existing customers with social media, radio, newspaper, magazines or even television. Each of these options contribute heavily to our marketing budgets, what about an alternative such as INTERNAL MARKETING?

When simplified, we are all trying to sell a product/service in one way or another, and I ask you “what about your staff?” are they not part of your product/service? Furthermore, your staff can also be considered as a major part of your sales & marketing team. So when we discuss marketing programs how much effort or cost is attributed to your staff in terms of internal communication, staff training or incentives?

There are many definitions of marketing, however this message clearly defines the key goal – “The all-embracing function that links the business with customer needs and wants in order to get the right product to the right place at the right time”. Without the staff this link is broken, yet many businesses think of marketing as external more than internal, in true essence 70% of all marketing should be internal.

You have probably heard this a million times but the true difference between competitors relates largely to your product including STAFF and how much does it really cost for a smile? The overall value of positive helpful smiling staff is often underestimated. Of course, we appreciate a smile doesn’t always come easy, venues need to create the culture which fosters and promotes this.

Whether managing 10 staff or 100 staff, this can take a while but it is vital that you have a structured program to incorporate staff training and also communication.

How many times have you heard a staff member say “I didn’t know that” “I wasn’t told about that” or “that’s not my job”? To you this maybe frustrating, but to the patron do they really accept ignorance as an excuse for poor service?

So next time you are creating or updating your budget we urge you to consider the impact of staff training on your overall product/service and marketing strategy.

Ask yourself; would you get more return from happy and helpful staff or a newspaper ad?

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