What is Holding Hotels and Resorts Back from Fully Utilizing CX Technology?
By Bill Caswell Principal, Hospitality Practice Leader, North Highland | July 21, 2019
Within any industry, early adopters of technology – whether startups or established players – often force their competitors to ramp up their technology investments to stay relevant. This scenario is playing out in the hospitality sector right now, where consumers are experiencing excellent personalization at forward-looking entertainment venues, retail establishments and restaurants, and then bringing those expectations with them when they interact with hotel and resort brands that are still catching up in this area.
The challenge for the hotel industry is meeting these consumer expectations while also ensuring that investments in customer experience (CX) make financial sense. The days of CX for the sake of CX are over, and that means financial outlays for new technology will be scrutinized by decision-makers who expect a tangible bottom line impact.
This more deliberate approach means change in the future will likely be incremental. While the threat of a newcomer disrupting the industry with breakthrough technology and a new delivery model is always a possibility, it isn't likely on a broad scale because of the capital-intensive nature of the business.
Moreover, key consumer market segments are already being served well by products delivered by the major hotel brands, and these companies are working to build on segmentation by getting to know their customers better and offering enhanced personalization. This is exemplified by hotel brands' shifting views such as their recent embrace of home sharing.
Within the hospitality industry, there is a wide range of CX programming. While there are some examples where significant improvements have been made, there is still no best-in-class implementation of CX across hotel brands or independent operators. Innovative applications of technology that are effective tend to be replicated by competitors quickly, but nobody has mastered the application of technology to CX in a way that significantly differentiates them from competitors.
This lag between available technology and actual adoption represents an opportunity for aggressive, forward-looking industry players to implement programs that are state-of-the-art and give them a true competitive edge.