How Tailored Data Empowers Employees to Deliver Enriching Experiences
By Bryan Pearson President & CEO, LoyaltyOne Inc. | March 31, 2013
One of the best methods for ensuring a good night's sleep is through a hard day's work. For hotel operators, though, those 40 winks are promised to the guests. The hard work, meantime, never ends.
Delivering a guest experience that is compelling in every way, from the website to checkout, is not an accident, and it never goes on autopilot. Hotel managers must continually upgrade their own standards based on consistent customer feedback gathered through every guest touch point. Fortunately, technology enables us to gather and analyze data from the moment a reservation is made to the morning a guest departs.
But it is how that information is collected, segmented and deployed across the organization, including to front-line staff, that distinguishes a chain's success rate at engagement. It is the difference between simply following a consumer's purchasing patterns and actually understanding, anticipating and proactively attending to customer needs.
Put another way: If you want to count profits, then your guests need to count sheep. They need to fall into your beds knowing that your staff has taken care of every detail of their stay. The most effective way to ensure this peace of mind is by delivering experiences that are relevant to the guest across the entire hotel experience. Only then will the guest think, "Hey, these guys really care." And - importantly - begin to care back.
But don't confuse this kind of caring, which is the gateway to loyalty, with the number of nights a guest sleeps with you. A hospitality chain's repeat business may be the simple result of location, price, amenities or service. But it also is likely be driven by routine, needs and availability.
Emotional loyalty, on the other hand, is when a customer chooses to stay with your brand even when an equal or potentially better alternative is available.