How hotels can personalize the customer experience to compete with Airbnb

My aim with these articles is to cover some of the most important needs in hospitality and explore how brands can use digital touch points to deliver.

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This is good advice and can apply to many industries. My favorite hotel unfortunately collapsed in the Christchurch Earthquakes. It was the Christchurch Park Royal. I used to stay there a couple of times a month for 1-2 nights.

I was greeted by name by the concierge when I arrived at the front entrance in my car. I always got upgraded one room level, there was always fresh fruit and a note wishing me a pleasant stay.

In the restaurant, one of the waitresses would regularly serve me and treated me like a VIP. She would ask if I would like my usual glass of red wine and briefly chat about her day, recommend specials and then leave me to read my magazine (usually The Futurist or New Scientist).

On one if the survey forms I mentioned her by name and the next time I visited she came up and thanked me and said that she had been called up for recognition in front of her colleagues at a staff meeting and been honored with an award for good customer service. From then on I got the VIP treatment from all staff.

One December I hopped into the lift followed quickly by the manager who called me by name. I was worried, thinking that perhaps my company hadn’t paid my account, but no he had a Christmas gift for me, which turned out to be a mono-graphed bathrobe and sweatshirt. I still have the sweatshirt even though I don’t wear it, just to remind me about good service.

I don’t like staying in hotels (there are exceptions) and have spent way too many nights in them, but that manager illustrated like this article, that if you treat people sincerely as thought they are the reason you are in business, you will win their loyalty.

I have blogged about many businesses that have gone or are disappearing and in many cases they are losing to nimble new businesses that understand their  customers and what they want. Existing businesses need to modify their models, but they can also learn from their competitors. I’d also point out that there is countless research that says price is not the primary motivator for the majority of purchases.

Industries like hospitality, public transport, taxis, book stores, consumer electronics stores and others can compete with their nimble new competitors. They can start by understanding what their customers want, rather than what their boards, bean-counters and senior management want. Give the customers what they want and everyone else will also get what they need. Stick to BAU and bleed the company dry by demanding they don’t change, but still deliver X% more EBITDA is a sure way to open the door to the receivers.

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in BAU, Good travel apps, Hospitality, Hotel, Hotel Apps, hotel deals, Travel, Travel Apps, Travel Information and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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