Obstacles in delivering excellent customer experiences
Customer care in the hospitality industry is everything. They are the lifeblood of any business hence the famous business adage: the customer is always right. Understanding the importance of providing an excellent customer service is, consequently, crucial for a healthy business in creating new customers, keeping loyal clients and developing referrals for future travellers. Customer service is the first opportunity a hotel gets to amaze and create a lasting impression. Great service makes customers feel that you care about developing a long-term relationship that means more than just making a sale. The customer ought to be in the centre of the business and services must be designed around them.
Hospitality businesses have made an enormous progress in the past decade changing the experiences they deliver to customers in both the physical and digital worlds. But it is still not sufficient! Each year there are new obstacles. Trying to surpass your guests’ expectations for an immediate, intelligent and consistent service across all channels is getting harder and harder. On this post, we will dive deeper into the 3 factors that explain why customer care in the hospitality industry is a chaos.
You are not available when you were supposed to!
Customers are more demanding than ever. They also have more power than they used to. Not to mention that they are smarter and have higher expectations than ever before. Indeed, they expect great results, and they expect them yesterday! So, when it comes to customer support, your hotel better be available 24/7. In the full 21st century one should already expect this type of service to be provided by hotels, however, this reality is far away from reality. Customers often find themselves waiting for your hotel’s response. By not being available 24 hours, you won’t resolve guest’s issues as soon as possible. This might mean that problems can go beyond what they are being experienced at that moment. That is, queries left unattended may cause you more problems.
Internal operations are not in sync
By not in sync, I am referring to the fact that the front of the house (property management and guest management) and the back of the house operations aren’t tied together sufficiently well, thus the workflow is often inefficient and hitches occur. These behind-the-scenes problems directly spill over to your interactions with guests harmfully impacting their experiences.
>See Also: How HiJiffy makes your customer care efficient
Multi-channel customer care pandemonium
Today’s demanding customers don’t just expect easy check-in, clean rooms, and a luxury property. They also expect a seamless, personalized experience from start to finish, from before they step foot in the lobby to after they leave. Guests want to know their needs are understood and taken care of, so they can lose themselves in their vacation without the stress that can often be associated with travel and accommodations. Many hospitality brands still lack multi-departmental software that connects all areas of the business together to foster efficiency in internal and marketing operations. Frequently there isn’t a way to collect, manage, and make accessible data about individual customers.
Consequently, interactions with guests aren’t delivered efficiently and intelligently across all touch points. There is not a complete customer view across all channels that can be used to better plan and execute marketing strategies to deliver optimal experiences. Most hospitality brands realize that making a traveller feel special and appreciated can go a long way. In the end, the goal is to leverage data to automate personalization and drive conversion. However, much is left to be desired in terms of the travel industry’s effort on the personalization area.
What can you do to solve this mess?
What guests expect from the hospitality industry has changed at a fast pace. Every single year consumers want more personalised and higher quality experiences. Hence, if you want to excel in this area, you must make sure that you have a self-service customer care. No doubt that guests increasingly prefer self-service over getting help from a hotel’s representative. In addition, you ought to deliver a fast service. Consumers don’t want to wait. This is driven in part by the proliferation of smartphones in recent years. Mobile has produced a permanent sense of immediacy which is changing forever how guests interact with you and how they expect you to interact with them.
Furthermore, you need to make sure that you deliver an intelligent service. Devices are smarter and enable more sophisticated interactions between hotel staff and guests. Lastly, your hotel must provide a consistent service, that is, guests expect brands to deliver a reliable service and communicate consistently throughout their journey. With each visit to your property, a guest expects the same level of service, familiar features and, processes.