Customer Centric Web – Service Doesn’t Start in the Hotel

By Michael McCartan Managing Director Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Duetto | February 03, 2013

Today’s hotel booking environment is hardly straight-forward, it is instead a complex mesh of multiple consumer touch points that requires the marketing and revenue management departments to continuously readdress their approach to delivering their products to the market.

Direct bookings are challenged by third party sellers both through traditional travel agents and by the well-exposed online travel websites. To secure the direct booking you need to find a way of influencing the customer, enticing them to your own booking channel so that you can make the most revenue from every available room.

How you portray your business and hotel is crucial, and your service must deliver the same experience when they stay. With the web becoming more customer centric, by engaging fully with the online research and the purchase experience you can add value to your hotel proposition while providing positive impact on customers’ purchase decisions.

Know the customer

Your historical customer data is an ideal place to start; here you can learn their demographics and where they are coming from. Understand which guest is the higher value guest, and from where you receive the more advanced bookings. Your customer knowledge will improve your chance to better develop and apply your hotel’s persona.

In today’s’ multimedia world, personality is essential; people want to know what they are buying into and what sort of experience they will have when they arrive. Is your hotel chic with a flamboyant edge and if so, does your marketing, communications and customer communication reflect this? If you’re a suave and classic property, do you deliver a sophisticated and formal experience?

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.