Adapting to the new breed of Customers in the Hospitality Industry

The customer today is very different from what they once were. Gone are the days when pleasing a customer just involved white-linen beds, bellboys to carry their luggage or providing service with a smile. Today to keep a customer happy is a far greater challenge, this is due to the fact that the needs of the customer are hard to predict as they are forever changing based on what they see or read on social media. Hence, hotels are in danger of failing to adapt to a new breed of guests whose needs and demands are entirely different from those of previous generations.

The impact of globalization and technology has changed the very meaning of hospitality, it has led to more demanding guests who know what they want. They want as little surprise as possible with regards to quality of service and experience. The room bookings and reviews, two processes formerly controlled exclusively by hotels themselves are substantially outsourced today.

A recent research shows that 70% of travellers indicated that a hotel’s technology (website, mobile app and other digital tools) influenced their decision to book. Mobile and digital technologies have redefined consumer expectations everywhere, and hotels are no exception. Only consistent performance can ensure that the customer keeps coming back for more, each time expecting something better than before. Happy customers are loyal customers, and those hotels able to proactively customize a guest’s room, meals and services are more likely to create a connection with the customer that will be rewarded with future loyalty. Social media platforms have opened up a global forum for customers to share experiences, make recommendations, and express likes and dislikes. Hotels willing to embrace this shift and actively integrate social insights into their customer service functions will be better able to protect their brand image through more effective resolution of current problems and prevention of future issues. Furthermore, closer integration will allow employees to engage in more meaningful conversations with customers and begin to humanise the digital experience. Hospitality industry is embracing technology to solve the challenges they face. Cloud technologies can be leveraged to build scalable solutions for acquiring, retaining and rewarding customers along with sales, service and marketing automation to enhance Productivity.

A robust CRM system can build enhanced profiles of customers that allow for a personalized relationship with the guest designed to offer him or her hospitality services at just the right moment. It is not only important to collect data but to analyse it appropriately to gain useful insights that can create sustainable ROI. Integrating with multiple systems and bringing the present and historic guest data from each system into one centralized data warehouse enables hotels to use a CRM to fetch that data more effectively. This ability to better understand the guest allows hotels to know who its valuable guests are based on the frequency and monetary value of each guest.

CRM will not only increase guest loyalty, satisfaction and spending, it will also impart digital competence to hotel staff and increase revenue of The Hospitality industry.

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