Take the Service Elevator to the Top Floor

By Roberta Nedry President and Founder, Hospitality Excellence, Inc. | April 23, 2017

Customer experience management is increasingly critical as a top investment area and skill essential for C-suite executives (some firms even have a CXO). What does that mean exactly and what do leaders need to do to ensure they are ready? How will they proactively acquire these skills and mindset when there is no single or even clear roadmap as to exactly what to do or how to do it? On top of that, the new science of customer emotions is inspiring even more considerations and most CEO’s don’t like to ‘get emotional’ about their business strategies! Some are finding their way in the dark. Yet, more and more evidence shows the direct relationship of emotional intelligence as part of the customer experience strategy. It’s time to figure it out!

Gartner Incorporated, a leader in technology and research predicts that this year, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago. Another global study by customer experience solutions provider Amdocs revealed that the most commonly added new C-level roles hold responsibility for customer experience. CEO management styles will need to change and have the ability to inspire innovation and change in how and what experiences are delivered and how the organization will function to support them. “The study shows customer experience is becoming increasingly critical with CEO’s of the largest service providers in the world viewing it as a top investment area in 2020,” Eric Updyke, Group President of System integration and operations at Amdocs.

Studies like these support getting up to speed fairly quickly on customer experience management. How many executives know how to go about that and get these skills the market is now demanding and which trends are forecasting will be critical? Who will orient and train them so they can train, orient, lead and inspire their organizations which must deliver those experiences?

On top of that, social media provides today’s consumers with lots of channels providing feedback on their personal customer experiences. Hospitality leaders and their organizations are getting lots of reviews and comments on the customer experiences they provide, whether they want them or not and whether they are designing them or not.

Executives must define, deliver and manage experiences that will rally employees to deliver better and more memorable experiences, matching or exceeding customer expectations. Going beyond brand loyalty and into the deeper science of emotional connections is essential for stronger guest loyalty and impressions.
Whether it’s a conference center, a local restaurant or a leading international hotel, customer experience management needs to be in play and top of mind for business leaders, the hospitality industry and their teams. Each touchpoint, each point of customer contact will contribute to a comprehensive series of events that will yield the final experience impression. Each time the baton is passed, another mini-moment takes place and adds to the complete experience timeline and impact. How can those mini-moments be managed for maximum yield and how do leaders charge up their own customer experience skills and knowledge? How do those in the C-Suite make sure that C now stands for Customer Experience which will be essential to their long term success?

When we work with our clients in a variety of industries on this exact topic and advise senior executives on developing their own customer experience skills, we are continually surprised by the disconnects between perceptions and intentions.

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.