After the proliferation of new-age technologies, the corporate landscape of all sectors has undeniably changed. This holds true for the hotel industry as well. The new-age guest is more evolved and demanding than ever, and it takes more than basic levels of customer service to please him. For example, 80% of hotel guest now find it important to set personal preferences, according to an MCD report. And with dwindling occupancies, RevPARs (Revenue Per Available Room) and profits, the hotel industry has to get a grip on new technologies to nurture customer loyalty and maximize customer acquisition.
Almost every industry is going through a technology-driven transformation, and the hotel industry is no different. Hotels have now invested in technologies like Online Booking Systems, Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing Automation and Social Media to have a more convenient, valuable and informed relationship with customers. This is definitely progress, but do the technologies reassure the hotels that the service they provide is in parity with the expectations of the customer. Customer service is most imperative in the hospitality industry, and this is what the hotels must bank on. For starters, when a customer picks up the phone to call your property they expect a high level of customer service and a quick response to their inquiry.
Guests are interacting with hotels via many channels and the larger the organization, the more are the touch-points. What hotels really lack is a customer engagement technology to power their contact centers that nurture customers at their preferred channel fostering advocacy at all levels of interaction. Customer engagement solutions provide hotels with the opportunity to nurture guest loyalty, leading to increased stays and on-property spend. There are a lot more opportunities that hotels can capitalize on with a contact center technology.
#1. Guest Profiling
Gather and use guest preferences and intelligence to enable the delivery of superior guest experience. Customer engagement solutions empower hotels to uniquely gather data on preferences, loyalty information, customer history, etc to drive greater customer intimacy and anticipate needs and expectations of guests. With customer intelligence, front desk and contact center agents can tailor their conversations to each guest on whether they would like to reserve the same hotel that they used last time when traveling to a city.
#2. Social Media Presence
Savvy travelers and hotel dwellers increasingly look to Social Media to vent out their frustrations or complaints. Customer Engagement technology having social monitoring intelligence that is equipped with keyword sensitive tools, hotels can spot specific keywords on social networking sites. This will help them to proactively reach out to dissatisfied customers and turn negative feedback around.
#3. Personalized Customer Experience
By leveraging information from the customer loyalty database contact center and front-desk agents are able to personalize interactions to ensure proper call handling and intelligent routing. Contact centers can also send pre-arrival emails to guests to prepare them for the stay.
#4. Quick Resolution of Customer Complaints
Once a complaint is raised through customer support helpdesk, managers can be alerted via email or phone from the contact center notifying them of a customer issue that originated at their location. Guest complaints can be captured by recording and routed in real-time to the appropriate manager or supervisor.
#5. Unified View of Customer Feedback
Different types of guest prefer to provide feedback through different avenues, and unifying the data from disparate sources help incorporate the perspective of a wider audience. Hoteliers can improve inconsistencies by distributing the feedback to people who are actually interacting with the guests rather than just hoarding the data on a market-research function.
The secret to success in the hotel industry has never changed – attract more guests and keep them coming back by using a smart customer engagement technology.