Targeting, attaining and retaining the “right” customers is at the core of many successful businesses. Focusing on desirable, loyal customers within chosen segments and then building and maintaining their loyalty through carefully planned relationship marketing strategies is important.
However, gaining customer loyalty in Saigon’s hospitality sector has been a challenge for bars like QUI – Cuisine · Mixology, according to Mr Vu Duong, the Marketing Director of Vise Hospitality, the group that manages Qui, Envy Club and new Chinese restaurant Bao Bei.
Qui flung open its doors almost three years ago. In its first year of operations, Qui targeted wealthy locals and the “elite”, however, this segment, says Vu, tends to be the least loyal group as they constantly seek new, hip and cool places.
“If the market has something new to offer, they will move no matter what. Of course, not all will move, some will remain as loyal customers.”
As a result, Vu and his team set about targeting other markets – expats, tourists and more specifically, the Korean community. The Korean community in Vietnam represents the largest expatriate community in Vietnam.
And the move has paid off. Qui is packed most nights, it took out Vietcetera’s People’s Choice Bar of the Year in 2018 and it has developed a reputation for quality cocktails despite its image as a party bar where all the beautiful people congregate.
“The club does not get old, it’s the people that get old”Mr Vu Duong – Marketing Director, Vise Hospitality
While this is an oversimplified summary of Qui’s business strategy, what Vu and his team have done has obviously worked.
“One of our strategies is to constantly look for new markets, especially if you want to survive in the nightlife entertainment industry in Vietnam. The club does not get old, it’s the people that get old.”
According to Vu, there are few venues in Saigon that survive 15 years. Those that do survive, he says, turnover their crowds every year – they comprise a different type of person or market each year.
Naturally, a venue also needs to maintain the highest possible service quality. Qui Saigon and QUI – Cuisine · Mixology Nha Trang continue to attract five-star reviews online, the result of Vise Hospitality’s commitment to its customer lifetime value model and the staff training that goes with it to realise its goals.
“Every customer counts,” says Vu, “so we treat everyone equally with respect and a smile, no matter how much they spend at our venues.”
Vu goes on to talk about his experiences working with other organisations in Vietnam and their approaches to customer service.
“My ex-employers always focused on increasing revenue (at the expense of a holistic approach to customer service), whereby it forced staff to focus too much on the high spenders and to forget about those who didn’t spend as much but come in regularly. That is a deadly mistake.”
An example he gives to explain his point is of the customer who comes to a venue three times a week to have a beer or cocktail each time. This is the type of customer who is equally as important to Vise as the type who comes in once every six months and orders a bottle of Dom Perignon.
“All this is very easy to say, of course, but when it comes to execution (of a strategy), it requires huge collaboration and support between all departments of a business.”
FOOTNOTE: This is not a paid partnership. The Bureau wishes to thank Mr Vu Duong for sharing his insights and Mr Mark Molnar (Vise Hospitality) for helping to make this article possible.