Author: Are Morch – Hotel Blogger and Social Media Consultant
HOW TO MAKE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GO BEYOND SURPRISE AND DELIGHT
Customer experience represents today all the micro-moments were the customer has some form of interaction with your hotel brand.
It looks at the journey and the lifetime value of the customer, mapping every micro-moment of the customer journey.
Today the digital marketing transformation has forced many hotels to take a deep look at their business models to adapt to new evolving market segments.
Customers today have access to very sophisticated digital tools that allows them to access detailed information about hotels and their surroundings instantaneous.
The customer experience is about humanness, transparency, authenticity, relevance, ease, and consistency.
Surprise and delight initiate a transformation process. Building new unique relationships generate both dreams and memories that customers share with a large network.
Are you ready to make the customer experience go beyond surprise and delight?
Set the right expectations
Digital marketing today entails group influence and for hotels marketers to acknowledge that control once enjoyed now is a distant memory.
It is interesting when we analyze and look at customer patterns and behaviors the hotel industry has not been among the first to adapt to new trends.
Travelers though are typically among the group that adapts early to new trends. New technology, media, and social networks have made information more available to travelers.
Today hotel marketers have to inspire through trust, loyalty and learn how to engage with the customer instead of simply positioning their service offers.
Setting the right expectations today involve engagement and being willing to discuss alternative solutions with customers.
How to deliver a great customer experience?
Hotels must acknowledge that today customers interact with them in more than one way.
A customer might see a hotels ad, visit their website, browse their service offers, read customer reviews, and go on their way all without speaking to a single human.
While technology and automation have unquestionably improved our lives, they’ve also made the modern customer experience much noisier and unpredictable.
We defined customer experience as all the micro-moments where customers have some form of interaction with your hotel brand.
It is important today to understand that the customer experience begins even before your hotel's product or service is delivered.
This is why it is so critical that hotels start enforcing new values like humanness, transparency, and authenticity. Customers today will do business with brands they know, trust and like.
Also, it is crucial to understand that the customer's relationship with your hotel brand is influenced by their peers and network.
Start with listening to the voice of the customer, its peers, and the community. Identify important pain points that were you can take proactive actions.
Understand both what customers want and what they don’t want. They might enjoy rose petal on their bed on arrival for their wedding anniversary. But they might not enjoy slow room service.
Adapting the experience to each customer unique journey
Personalized experiences not only generate bookings, but they encourage customers to develop trust with hotel brands and in turn grow a sense of loyalty.
This has to be seen in context with important customer micro-moments like:
• Social media engagement
• Reputation management – reviews
• Word of mouth
Hotel marketer today must create unique customer personas for every micro-moment. This is what allows the marketer to reach the right audience at the right time.
One of the most common objections with hotels today is cost and resources here. The good news is that today there are new revolutionary service offers for hotels that provide cost-effective alternatives.
The customer is always the star. When it comes to special occasions your job is to help take off as much stress of their shoulders as possible. Delivering incredible memorable service during this time will not only make the customer a star but also your hotel.
Digital marketing empowers customer communication channels
The primary shift we experience today comes down to how customers involve and allocate their experience through social media channels.
Any concerns related to customer service has become very transparent and is often instantly broadcasted to broad networks.
Hotels use all of their digital marketing channels to promote their value proposition. It is important that hotels how a customer perceives the hotel's value proposition.
Performance and product quality have in the past represented how hotels generated value.
With digital marketing and new relationship marketing strategies hotels, today has a new unique opportunity to take their value proposition to a new level.
Communicating with customers at every micro-moment of the customer journey is not a burden today, but a unique reality.
New technology, new skillset, new talent, and value innovation is available. Every hotel today has the opportunity to make the customer experience go beyond surprise and delight.
Today hotels have to learn how to anticipate the customers wants, needs and concerns even before they arise.
Ready to start improving your hotel's customer experience strategy?
Determine which areas of your hotel brand are key f to make a positive impression on your customers. Communicate and engage with your customers and your employees. And get buy-in from leadership. Those actions will help guide you down the path to delivering great customer experience.
What is the biggest challenge you see today by using digital marketing to improve the customer experience?
Leading global brands join us each year at The Hotel Show Dubai, to showcase their products and services to visitors from some of the world's leading hotel brands.
Read on to hear what exhibitors and visitors had to say about last year's exhibition.
Dubai has proven over and over again its resilience as a stable, mature and continuously growing market. Being a political safe haven, economically stable and with the continuous influx of new attractions, it remains to be in the forefront of people’s travel itineraries.
I believe The Hotel Show is a one-of-a-kind event, which brings together industry heads, a showcase of the latest trends, developments and evolutions in hospitality as well as suppliers from across the globe.
Kai Schukowski, General Manager, Kempinski Hotel Ajman
Many hotel companies in the region are adapting their individual concepts as they are now acknowledging guests who aspire to be different. They prefer experiences which are a deviation from the norms, based on originality, authenticity, design and communications. Everyone has different personal preferences, and unique experiences can be created by providing unforeseen services and this is how the UAE and the region are positioned as key hospitality players worldwide.
Alexander Schneider, General Manager, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai
We're really happy to be a part of The Hotel Show Dubai this year and the response and enthusiasm we’re getting from partners and the industry is very encouraging. It’s the reason we decided to come here to launch our new products to the hotels and IT Managers. We’ve had lots of enquiries and we believe this is the right platform to show this kind of innovative technology.
Vinod Sivaraman – Senior Manager / Hotel TV & Information Display at LG Electronics
I’m very happy with the exhibition this year, the feedback from clients is good and I think this is the way to be known in the market. You meet people not just from the UAE but from all over the MENA region!
Myrna Jervoso, Business Development Manager, Twenty1 Interiors
The Hospitality Franchise sector is for exhibitors showcasing all that is new in the exciting world of franchising. Exhibitors in this sector will also offer financial advice that operators may need.
The hospitality industry recognises that people are its greatest asset. The Hospitality Placements sector will connect exhibitors, global hospitality employers, with a pool of talented hospitality professionals.
INTERIORS, LIGHTING & DESIGN
This area will attract visitors looking for systems and products to make their establishments stand out from the crowd through unique design and smart lighting. Furniture & furnishing, art, accessories & décor, curtains, upholstery & fabrics, wall coverings, wall paper & paint, flooring & carpeting, lighting & sustainable lighting solutions & accessories
LEISURE, SPORTS & RESORTS
The show’s leisure, Sports & Resorts area is ideal for suppliers of solutions for the build, development and fit-out of multi-purpose sports facilities, resorts and other leisure properties.
OPERATING EQUIPMENT, HORECA & FOOD SERVICE
Exhibitors within this sector will meet buyers with an interest in the latest tableware, innovative equipment solutions for banqueting cafes, restaurants and more.
F&B services & equipment, catering services & equipment, buffetware, glassware, flatware, chinaware, tableware & accessories, cutlery & crockery, refrigeration & storage, menu systems, restaurant consultants, food service & kitchen utensils, bar & restaurant equipment.
POOL & SPA
Buyers within this sector are looking for the best design solutions and equipment to develop & build swimming pools and spas, whether stand-alone, or within commercial leisure establishments.
TECHNOLOGY & SECURITY
This area is a showcase of the latest trends in guest-facing & back-end systems, and smart technologies, as well as the latest solutions available to make guest experience safer, easier, and more enjoyable.
Entertainment systems & solutions, surveillance systems, locks & monitoring, room automation systems & technology, information security services, e-commerce & web applications, inventory & control systems & solutions, telecommunication systems, services & equipment, audio visual, conferencing, PA & sound systems, commercial security, management tools & systems, minibar systems, high speed internet access systems, front & back PMS, customer loyalty & dinner programs.