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Jan 01 2021

How Customer Delight builds relationships

Corona has impressively shown us the importance of relationships. Some of us became very innovative – within the boundaries of the restrictions – to stay in contact with friends and family. Not only in Italy people were singing and chatting across balconies. The pleasant anticipation of the first real get-together was huge after weeks of lockdown.


Relationships make us happy!

The famous ‘Harvard study of adult development’ examined the life and well-being of 700 men over the course of 75 years. Among other things the results of the study were used to get a better understanding of what makes people happy. Robert Waldinger, head of the study, concludes in a TED talk ‘Good relationships keep us happy and healthy’. However, it’s not the number of relationships, but the quality of the relationship, which makes the difference. 

It's all about feeling understood, being comfortable to trust and being connected to others.

Customer Delight refines relationships.

Customer Delight puts the person, the individual needs and desires in the center of attention. Customer Delight is the result of a cordial relationship. Every contact with the guest or the customer offers the opportunity to build a relationship and to spark delight.  

However, some prerequisites are necessary:

Empathy and compassion – the ability to share the emotions of others.

People want to be heard and seen. A relationship flourishes, when one feels understood.

Respect – the attitude to esteem every individual personality. 

Being acknowledged is a basic need. Esteem, courtesy, fairness and mutual considerateness are keys to a sustainable relationship.

Benevolence – the desire to do something good.

Safety and security are considered basic needs as well. Helpfulness, wanting to really take care of somebody else’s concerns strengthens relationships and builds trust

Interest – the willingness to engage closely.

As social beings people strive for attention. Honest and authentic interest, an attentive exchange between each other elevates relationships to a higher level.  

Time – the opportunity to unrestrictedly dedicate oneself to another person.

Nobody wants to feel like being an annoyance. Listen, enquire, pause. Relationships grow with time you give them.


Happy place.

I have my personal ‘happy place’. Maybe you as well. When I arrive at vigilius mountain resort all is right with the world for my four-legged companion and me. The welcome card is addressed to me and my dog, special pillows are waiting on my bed, the morning newspaper lies in front of my door with a note wishing me a wonderful day, lactose free butter arrives without having to ask for it. The team knows my preferences and dislikes – and acts upon them.

Foto ©Brita Stiegler

So what?

At vigilius mountain resort I am a repeater. As said is my happy place. This means I ignore the few slips, because I am aware about the challenges. There are no acquisition costs with me, because I book the next New Year’s Eve anyway. Nobody has to convince me of a delightful bottle of ‘Löwengang’. I treat myself with it enjoying the incredible view from the terrace of Stube Ida – feeling pleased like the female version of Punch. In return I am given a little bit more freedom. We have been in in this relationship together for quite some time…we blindly understand each other.


In a previous blog I talked about the ‘AMAN Junkies`. Repeaters are exactly these junkies craving for the same Customer Delight experience over and over again. Repeaters are intertwined with their favorite hotel. 

For the business repeaters mean more revenue, more benevolent ambassadors, less price sensitivity, and more sympathy at actually lower costs.

A couple of facts…

  • It is at least 5 (to 25) times more expensive to win a new customer than keeping an existing one. Not to mention how much more challenging it is to regain a lost customer.
  • An increase in customer retention by 5% has the potential to make a business up to 75% more profitable.
  • Repeaters can generate 7 times more revenue than first time customers.

The numbers speak for themselves. Relationship and customer retention are essential for sustainable business success.


So, what are you doing to build up a sustainable relationship with your guests and customers?


What is your opinion on the topic? I look forward to your thoughts or a personal conversation



Brita Stiegler


Foto ©