The Urgency of Real-Time Communication & Contactless Experiences
By Ford Blakely SVP & GM, Medallia Zingle | May 31, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every area of business operations, and few have been as affected as communication. Experiencing meteoric spikes in incoming requests from anxious customers, even hotels that have had to close their doors temporarily to adhere to social distancing guidelines have had to make dramatic changes to their communication strategies.
Everything about guest communication has changed overnight. From the type of conversations brands are having with their guests to the resources that are facilitating these conversations, and most notably the very impact that real-time communications, or the lack thereof, has on an organization's success.
In many respects, it's fair to say that real-time communication has gone from a competitive advantage to a survival strategy.
Shifts in Consumer Mindsets Require Operational Changes
Every industry has been impacted by the fallout from the crisis. And while some have been able to embrace digitization in a way that leaves them relatively unscathed from social distancing requirements, the hotel industry is different. It has been built on white-glove human service. The ability of a hotel and its staff to build relationships with guests through in-person interaction is key to driving loyalty, establishing positive reputations and driving things like online reviews.
There's no such thing as working from home when it comes to running a hotel. Guests pay for in-person accommodations and the experience they have on property, making new consumer research from noted consultancy Capgemini a troubling reality for brick-and-mortar businesses.