Making the Customer Experience a Key Business Differentiator
By Dennis Armbruster Vice President and Managing Partner, LoyaltyOne Consulting | April 12, 2015
In today's hyper-competitive, hyper-connected global marketplace, customer experience has assumed a major role as a key business differentiator. Within the hospitality industry, there's a growing understanding that competition based on price alone is no longer a viable strategy due to the potential volatility as well as the negative impact on profitability.
In addition, technological advances have shortened the development cycle, so feature or function advantages can be quickly duplicated or enhanced, meaning product and service innovations are no longer the differentiators they once were.
That leaves customer experience – personalized and unique, yet replicable – as the key differentiator.
Protecting Market Share & Margins
Failing to provide a distinctive experience puts a hotel back in the pack with its competitors. Without a differentiator, the hotel risks losing a customer's business to another property that's perceived as comparable – or perhaps even worse, interchangeable.
On the other hand, research indicates that 86 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a better customer experience, according to the annual Consumer Experience Impact (CEI) survey. To protect both market share and margins, hotel properties must provide customers with consistent, compelling experiences-before, during, and after interactions-across all touch points.