Delivering the Customer Service Management System's Promise to Your Target Market
By Marco Albarran Managing Director, Remarkable Hospitality, Inc. | March 30, 2014
The hospitality industry welcomes and needs to be creative and innovative to continue its survival, more so with its talent. Hospitality and customer service is very important to seeing a brand experience become efficient in the market. We do need to do our best to improve and keep retention rates of employees as high as possible. If not we risk not hitting realistic figures in our financial statements, because if there is inconsistency, in the workplace and day to day operations, then the guest will ultimately have to pay the ultimate price.
Let's briefly understand the upcoming panorama of the industry before getting started. This will have a lot to do with our topic for this article. The industry is slated to improve as of 2014, and continuously improving towards near the end of the decade, as we do see positive factors overall economic growth. STR predicted at the end of last year that approximately 1.1 % growth in hotel supply will be experience in 2014, with a 2.4% in demand growth, which will help occupancy to increase approximately 1.3%, and ADR and RevPAR increasing over 4.5% and approximately 6.0% respectively.
As far as the economy is concerned, we do see unemployment slightly decreasing, housing stabilizing, positive news on manufacturing and better lending overall. We see that the overall happening in North Dakota, in terms of fracking to release/expand natural gas, will lead to a great opportunity for the US to be energy dependent for at least the next century.
All of this said, we do see, as hospitality businesses, that there is a lot to truly be hopeful for. However, are you ready to welcome the growth? Is your brand ready to deliver what it has positioned itself to promise the end user? Most importantly, is your staff ready and trained to handle all of this? Are they motivated, in continuous training, and pumped up to deliver in a continuous manner, a steady and standard service that represents your brand, whether you are a flag or an independent property? Keep in mind that the latest news is that 99% of all positions have recovered, and it will exceed what it was at peak last decade, so this is very concerning and great at the same time.
First we do need to see a larger sense of the picture as to where the industry is heading towards. Naturally we do focus on main generations: Baby boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. All will naturally spend and travel more with improved economical conditions. We are seeing, however, a large percentage of baby boomers as the main target market for hotels overall, since they have the most spending power out of all three. They are very focused on lifestyle and also maintaining young at all times.
That said, this tells us that the focus on service (interaction with the employee, if you will, in a moment of truth manner) is most important for them. This goes similarly with Gen X, although somewhat focused on the technological aspect of things. Gen Y still is looking to interact and mingle, more so in the lobby or a lounge of a hotel (for example). This generation tends to have a sense of belonging and socializing but in their own way, not necessarily inside of their guest rooms. So again, the focus of personalized, or person to person, customer service from employees will continue to be critical regardless of technological innovation being introduced into the industry.