According to Treacy and Wiersema, customer intimacy is a strategy where the relationship with customers and their wishes and desires are the most important factor. Using intimacy strategy companies usually focuses on selling already tested products instead of introducing new products. Providing customers the goods and services that fits their needs perfectly allows companies to build customer loyalty for the long term. (Ed Peelen&Beltman, 2013).
If the company’s goal is to implement customer intimacy strategy, it can be done in several ways. Companies could increase their touchpoints, such as customer service, websites, blogs, events or search engines queries. Moreover, quick response and social networking could increase intimacy between the company and customers as well. By showing clients that they are the most important and giving them a chance to be directly linked from the official website to other social media channels could gain their trust (CMG, 2016).
Consequently, intimacy strategy is used by many hotels. For instance, Ritz-Carlton hotel chain implemented this strategy for creating better and longer lasting relationships with their customers. A hotel created their loyal customer’s identity cards, which showed their personal data and preferences, such as type of room, breakfast packages and special needs. Therefore, every time when repeated visitors called for booking a room they already knew what are their preferences and did not need to ask many questions to find it out. This way it saves customer’s time and brings them personal feeling that the organization already knows what they like and who they are. Thus, this is a perfect example how the hotels can create better relationship with their customers and bring them unforgettable experience just by adding extra value to their service. (Kolesar, 1998).
Moreover, many hotels fail to be successful just because they mainly focus on sales instead of focusing on their customer needs. According to Kurt Verweire, (Verweire, 2014) personal customer’s analysis could bring more benefits to the company than a constant push of the sales, because customers feel appreciated and it build their trust. It can take a while to change organization’s values and implement customer intimacy strategy. However, the key to implement this strategy is to listen to your customers to understand instead of listen to sell.
To sum it up, customer intimacy strategy is about getting to know your customer’s personal needs and providing them goods or services that fits their desires. Customer intimacy strategy can be implemented by increasing their touchpoints, by being quick to respond on customers’ requests, emails, complains and social networking. Moreover, it is important to know that intimacy between hotel and customer can be created by providing them personal experience and emphasising their uniqueness.
CMG. (2016). 6 most effective customer intimacy strategies. Retrieved from CMG: http://cmgpartners.com/content/customer-intimacy-strategy/
Ed Peelen, Rob Beltman. (2013). Customer relationship management. Amsterdam: Pearson education Benelux BV.
Kolesar, P. (1998). CREATING CUSTOMER VALUE THROUGH INDUSTRIALIZED INTIMACY. Retrieved from strategy business: https://www.strategy-business.com/article/19127?gko=81aa7
Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema. (1992). Customer Intimacy and other values Diciplines. Harvard business review.
Verweire, K. (2014). Strategy implementation. Oxon: Routledge.