Access to cost-effect and innovative technology is shaping the modern digital customer experience for hotels.
Today will live in an era where brands create digital experience offers that embrace customer experience and personalization.
As hoteliers, we have to be cautious that we are not driven by hypes but create a unique digital customer experience offers in a relevant context.
At the end of the day, it boils down to the service that is most suited to the needs of the customer.
The changing customer expectations
New technology and tools serve today as amplifiers of the information flow. Customers today want the one-click right-this-moment experience offer that suits their needs.
Hotels are today required to collect more information on their ideal customers and guests than ever before.
Customer expectations represent every touchpoint where customers engage with the hotel. The key is to gather relevant data from these touchpoints.
Customers have today unprecedented opportunities in shaping their own experiences. And as this is not enough customers will today compare a hotel experience with unique experiences they and their network had with any industry.
The window of opportunity for hotels to earn the customer’s business is very narrow, and if you can’t serve them in the right-this-moment they will not wait. The customer doesn’t care much about the channel they care about the experience the channel uses, and if they switch the channel, they expect consistency.
Customers expect that you understand their needs and provide them with a simple transaction process. If any concerns should arise, they expect these resolved without having to repeat themselves.
Understanding the customer journey
Today it is critical that hotels understand the customer expectation in context with the customer journey of your ideal customer. The customer journey consists of several micro-moments that will add up and define the customer experience.
As hoteliers, we have to understand the customer journey and provide employees with relevant technology, tools, and training to better serve new customer needs. This will need hotels to create a new culture that will support and transform the digital experience both for employees and guests.
Today we look at creating innovative brand advocacy programs for employees and provide opportunities for them to take an active part in the customer journey. These programs allow employees to better understand what the local community has to offer and also understand the pain points customers and guests experience with the hotel.
Hotels must listen, care, connect, and build relationships. Collecting data from customers, guests, and employee brand advocates will put your hotel in a unique position creating unique personalized digital experience offers.
How technology and tools help hotels leverage the customer experience
For many years’ hotels have used technology that supports inbound marketing (property management, point of sale, etc.). As technology and tools evolved this created a disruptive market in need of instant information.
Customers discovered tools that opened the gateway to amplify their outbound messages. Today hotels have to start investing in tools for the hotel management and employees to take part in and understand how the customer uses these outbound messages. In the first part of the process, the customer is focusing on building a community with their friends, peers, and extended network.
Hotels that put in place effective strategies with listening, caring, connecting, and build a relationship will become a part of these communities. What is Important within the communities is the unique value and quality of your hotel’s experience offers.
A unique experience offers are created around the stories and memories that involve your hotel. Work together with employees, guests, and customers, reward them and become active players with their stories and memories. It is the community today that amplifies the digital experience.
Digital customer experiences are today influenced by several factors and the experience will be a more determining factor than the price when the customer chose one experience offer over another. This is a transformation process that is represented through value innovation, growth mindset, humanness, transparency, and authenticity.
The customer expects an authentic instant engagement at the preferred channel. This doesn’t require hotels to be on every channel. On average customers use three channels. And this is why you have to understand where your hotel’s ideal customers hang out.
Here is a visual presentation of ‘The Customer Journey Towards More Direct Bookings for Hotels. Enjoy!
Related article: 5 Strategic Tips for Hotels That Will Transform the Customer Experience
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About Are Morch
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Marketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert specializes in creating effective digital customer experience offer for hotels while growing and scale customer acquisition and revenue.
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