Guests sitting round a candlelit dining table

Personalising guest experiences

With over 20 years servicing and crafting experiences for a global audience of HNW and UHNW clients, Quintessentially knows a thing or two about creating exceptional guest experiences.

Fast forward to 2022, with unprecedented social and cultural change and new sources of wealth generated by younger and more diverse groups the UHNW global population stands at c.295k individuals (and counting). Do we know how they want to be served, today and in the future? QX, the in-house experience agency at Quintessentially, has taken on the challenge of finding out more about their expectations for guest experiences.

Through interviews with our experts across events, lifestyle, travel and brand experiences, here are our updated ten golden rules for creating luxury guest experiences:

1. Talk to me

If there’s one thing the Principle wants, it’s to be kept updated and in the loop. No news is news that needs to be communicated. So, whether you’re making a reservation, sourcing a piece of art or arranging a celebration, daily status updates are a minimum requirement. In the words of Lucy Telling, Quintessentially’s Global Head of Servicing, 'if you’re not servicing them attentively, there will be another supplier who will.'

2. What’s the hook?

Generic approaches, poor understanding of their needs and ill-timed pitches are a surefire way to turn off a client. Luckily, with a bit of time and effort, it’s often easy to find a passion, interest, sector or cause that resonates with their values and can be used as a motivator to engage wealthy individuals. According to our lifestyle managers, more often than not, art is the hook. It’s the perfect tool for engaging prospects, entertaining clients and creating bespoke, one-of-a-kind experiences.

3. Why is it for me?

When you can experience practically everything this world has to offer, your time is a precious commodity that needs to be spent on things that offer personal value. Invitations and experiences require a rationale for engagement. Why are you offering this to me? Why is this activity uniquely suited to me? Positioning experiences in this light requires knowledge and a relationship built over time. How can you get to know your client better?

Yacht parked up on seafront
Drawing handprints onto rock front
Bespoke experience

4. Bring me in

Any experience that facilitates the treatment of a high-net worth client as an insider is highly appealing. Whether that’s ‘meet the maker’, chef tables or itinerary planning, we have seen a shift in desire from personalised to participatory. Experiences that allow personal involvement to shape products and processes are highly sought after.

5. Room for manoeuvre

When planning the experience for an UHNW individual, it’s shrewd to consider them as a segment of one. Each has their own needs, preferences, passions and idiosyncrasies – and the funds to indulge them. Consequently, nearly every plan is subject to last-minute alterations and additions. Allowing for flexibility at the planning stage is vital for reactive delivery and a seamless experience.

6. A name to a face

Across all departments and servicing teams, a consistent preoccupation emerged: staffing. High-net worth customers want consistent staff and a named go-to individual to handle all their needs. So, whether that’s planning staffing rotas or considering accommodation for the Principle’s entourage, ensuring minimal change and maximum accountability is a must.

Candlelit bespoke dinner set up on a beach front. Candlelit bespoke dinner set up on a beach front
Bespoke dining

7. Can I trust you?

Wealthy individuals surround themselves with trusted advisors whom they consult on virtually all aspects of life: investments, property, jewellery, art and travel among many others. The key to delivering any experience successfully is gaining their trust from the beginning. Pinpoint where you have credibility and confidently use this to build and cultivate a relationship with longevity.

8. Local influence

Clients who have seemingly been everywhere and done everything are looking for an experience that delivers something new and authentic. Use local talent and interesting collaborations that are sympathetic to different cultures to make stories to take away and, importantly, share.

9. Comfort is king

Perfectly summed up by Samantha Mullen, Head of Quintessentially Travel, 'you can have the most beautiful, unique hotel on the planet with top chefs and breath-taking views, but if they’re not comfortable, they won’t go back.'

10. What’s next?

The high-net worth individual is a fickle friend. Creating a best-in class luxury experience isn’t just about the wow factor. Only through deep immersion and meaningful exposure can you create long-term value. Before you know it, their wandering eye will be caught be a competitor, so aim to snare in-the-moment commitment for whatever experience you have to offer next.

Beautiful light room looking onto water Beautiful light room looking onto water
Beautiful accomodation

And that’s it! Our clients expect highly personalised engagement from all organisations they deal with and fully customised products and services. Cultivating the relationships that deliver this cannot happen overnight; they require careful nurturing over time to softly nudge the relationship forward. The key to designing an exceptional guest experience is to understand why the customer is coming to you and to run that unique proposition through the core of the experience in interesting and authentic ways.

To find out more about QX, and all services available, please get in touch at QXinfo@quintessentially.com

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