Social media is the cornerstone of the luxury lifestyle industry

Dominic O’Reilly


With a new wave of competitors sweeping the leisure industry, focusing on customer satisfaction is the best way to generate loyalty and goodwill.

Over the course of the past two decades, the internet has dramatically transformed the way we plan and book our holidays. Today, high street travel agencies are struggling to stay relevant as travellers opt to book flights and accommodation online, cutting out the middleman and creating their own personalised getaways. With price comparison websites offering unbeatable deals for holidaymakers, it is now easier than ever to plan, manage and book trips online. Indeed, an estimated 80 percent of people now book their holidays using the internet, while approximately 90 percent of travellers research holiday destinations online prior to booking.

Understandably, this trend has had a profound impact on the leisure and travel industries. While online booking has created some disruption within the industry, it has also provided leisure companies with new opportunities to innovate and engage with customers. Social media strategy and online marketing have become crucial tools in the leisure industry, allowing companies to promote their brand and grow their customer base. With a wealth of information and options available at just the click of a button, competition is fierce in the digital leisure marketplace. In order to stay ahead, leisure companies must focus on offering quality service over an ever-growing range of channels.

New kids on the block
In recent years, the leisure industry has seen a significant spike in the number of membership-based lifestyle groups. Groups such as these organise luxury experiences for their members, offering a wide array of services including holidays, theatre tickets and sporting events. With its European branch founded in 2004, EZE Group is perhaps one of the world’s longest-serving lifestyle platforms, offering access to exclusive benefits. EZE Group members can access a range of services, from adventure activities to luxury travel experiences. As a result, the company has enjoyed impressive growth over a number of years. Just last year, the company saw sales rise by 120 percent, boosted by the opening of its newest flagship exhibition centre in Barcelona. “We look forward to extending an invitation to as many of our members as possible to visit our new premises”, said EZE Group CEO Dominic O’Reilly, European CEO’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the Hospitality & Leisure Industry.

“Due to the success of EZE Group, we’ve become aware of many other companies springing up similarly overnight, purporting to offer similar services”, added O’Reilly. “In some cases, these companies have little or no experience in the industry, and levy high costs for services that they are ultimately unable to provide.”

“In recent years, the leisure industry has seen a significant spike in the number of membership-based lifestyle groups.”

This sudden influx of novice companies has thus threatened to tarnish the lifestyle industry’s reputation, leaving genuine companies fighting to combat a certain amount of bad press. With copycat firms continuing to spring up, it is more important than ever that companies strengthen their brand image and reassure clients of their reliable customer service. By focusing on customer experience and responding to members’ evolving tastes and demands, lifestyle brands can create a strong bond of trust between themselves and the customer. From customer interactions to the luxury experiences on offer, quality must come first.

“In order to respond to these challenges, we went back to basics and looked at the needs of our members”, O’Reilly explained. “We spent time researching our industry, seeking professional advice, and removing some of the third-party partners we had previously worked with. By doing this, we have been able to establish exactly what our members want to achieve from their membership ad how they see themselves moving forward with EZE Group.”

What’s more, in order to extend its customer service further and engage with a wider client base, EZE Group has also been ramping up its social media strategy.  An active and efficient social media presence helps the brand to stand out from its competitors in the field, and enables direct interaction with both existing and prospective customers.

“Most people incorporate some form of social media into their daily routine”, said O’Reilly. “Using social media as a marketing and advertising tool has helped us create more brand awareness, improve on existing products, and keep our members updated with new benefits.”

Beck and call
Quality customer service is essential to all businesses, but it is perhaps most vital in the leisure and luxury industries. Whether customers are treating themselves to a stay in a boutique hotel or attending a wine-tasting tour, they are seeking a memorable and indulgent experience. Customers are primarily looking to switch off and de-stress, and want to feel safe in the knowledge that they can rely on a good customer service team.

In order to ensure customer satisfaction, lifestyle brands must go above and beyond what is expected of them, placing clients at the forefront of their operations. By going the extra mile, companies can expect to enjoy a high level of customer retention, along with a growth in membership as their good reputation spreads.

“The growth of a company does not necessarily depend on the number of new members you attract”, said O’Reilly. “Instead, it’s reliant on the way you look after your existing customer base, asking the correct questions, establishing needs and providing services.”

Understanding the power of word-of-mouth recommendations, EZE Group aims to work for to its clients’ benefit, ensuring they are happy and satisfied with every aspect of the service. One way in which the company attends to its customers’ needs is through its concierge service. Whenever a customer has a request or query, they can contact EZE’s team of leisure specialists, who are always on hand to provide information, advice and round-the-clock support. The concierge team aims to satisfy any request, big or small, while the one-on-one service helps customers to feel personally taken care of. Whether customers are looking for help with exchanging travel money or simply want a bottle of wine delivered to their door, Eze Group’s aim is that all they have to do is call their nominated member of staff.

“The internet does provide the ability to research and secure benefits and services, but we have found that our members still prefer a personal touch”, explained O’Reilly. “They value the ability to pick up the phone and receive immediate advice and assistance from a dedicated team member.”

In addition to this service, EZE Group says it is also making customer satisfaction a priority at its own branded UK travel agency, Everywhere Travel. With a growing team of specialists, Everywhere Travel partners with EZE’s concierge service to create luxury trips, with the aim of removing the hassle from travel.

“Our online travel platform has been received with fantastic reviews from members”, said O’Reilly. “The additional services that we’ve brought online, and the amazing benefits we can offer our members, have made us one of the leaders in the leisure industry.”

With impressive membership growth and a host of new, luxury services, the future certainly looks bright for EZE Group. Traditional travel agencies might be struggling to keep up with a rapidly changing travel and leisure industry, but EZE Group has shown innovation is the true key to success.





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here