In the dynamic world of the hospitality industry, the brand of a hotel stands as a formidable asset, capable of attracting and retaining customers. This allure becomes particularly potent within the fiercely competitive landscape of Australia.
Yet, as robust as the brand may be, it does not, in and of itself, guarantee the triumph of a hotel. In this ever-evolving market, where guest preferences and expectations are continually evolving, it’s the hotel management team that holds the key to success.
In this article, we delve into the pivotal role played by hotel management in crafting an exceptional guest experience. We’ll explore how the confluence of brand strength and adept customer experience management can elevate a hotel’s market standing, asset value, and overall financial performance.
The Revenue Contribution of Brand Companies
According to our expert asset and customer experience managers here at Axsia HTL, the brand company can contribute an impressive 30% to 50% of the hotel’s revenue per available room (RevPAR) through its strong distribution systems and brand promise.
These twin pillars empower the brand to attract and engage a substantial portion of the clientele, ensuring that rooms are occupied and revenue streams flow consistently. It’s this very strength that often draws hotels into partnerships with renowned brand companies.
The rest of a hotel’s RevPAR depends on managing customer experience in a way that enhances guest satisfaction, loyalty, reputation, and demand through creating a “mini-brand” that resonates with its target market.
This “mini-brand” should mirror the aspirations, preferences, and expectations of the guests, acting as the bridge between brand promise and customer fulfilment. Here, every interaction, from the initial reservation to the final checkout, is a carefully orchestrated act, designed to leave an indelible impression. This is where a strong CEM strategy is essential when looking to enhance overall property asset value.
The Pitfalls of Cost-Cutting in Hotel Management
Unfortunately, many hotel managers resort to cost-cutting measures as a quick fix to maintain profitability, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This can have negative consequences for the quality of service, customer retention, and long-term value creation.
Instead, owners should actively engage with their hotel managers, posing critical questions about the strategy in place and how it aligns with the overarching brand vision and customer requirements. Hotel success is not just about numbers; it’s about creating a memorable and lasting experience for guests that keeps them coming back and recommending the establishment to others.
By taking a holistic approach and focusing on customer experience management, hotel owners can steer their properties towards sustainable success, even in challenging times.
Customer Experience Management (CEM) as a Solution
In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, managing customer experience has emerged as a powerful solution to unleash the full potential of a hotel property. At Axsia HTL, we firmly believe that customer experience management (CEM) is the cornerstone upon which a hotel’s success is built.
CEM represents a comprehensive approach to crafting and optimising the interactions between customers and the hotel at every touchpoint of their journey, from the initial pre-arrival phase to the post-departure experience.
It’s more than just ensuring guests have a pleasant stay; it’s about orchestrating a symphony of experiences that resonate with guests on a personal level.
The essence of CEM lies in its dedication to understanding the guests’ unique identity, preferences, and desires. This in-depth comprehension is crucial in shaping the experiences that not only meet but exceed their expectations.
Every guest interaction, be it during the booking process, check-in, dining, or any other aspect of their stay, is seen as an opportunity to delight and create lasting memories.
Customer Experience Management Platforms
Pivotal tools in a hotel’s CEM arsenal are its customer experience management platforms, often referred to as customer experience technology (CET). There are plenty of tools available from the more basic CEM designs to advanced software for large chains.
The technology in these platforms empowers hotels to gather and analyse data from various sources to construct a detailed profile of their guests.
This profile, built upon demographics, behaviours, preferences, and feedback, serves as a blueprint for personalised experiences. From room preferences to dining choices and even recreational activities, a customer experience management platform allows hotels to tailor every aspect of a guest’s stay.
CET allows hotel management to better understand their guests’ behavioural psychology, allowing them to:
- See important customer information
- Track how customers interact with the hotel’s website and booking system
- Navigate the hotel’s website
- Automate better customer interactions with AI
- Identify guest pain points
- Gain valuable data from wider market pools
By integrating a preferred platform into their operations, hotels can ensure a seamless and consistent experience throughout a guest’s journey. This cohesiveness builds trust, enhances guest satisfaction, and ultimately fosters loyalty.
Benefits of Implementing CEM Principles
By applying CEM principles and practices, hotel managers can achieve several benefits, such as:
Increasing Customer Loyalty
Loyal customers are more likely to return, recommend, and spend more at a hotel. They also provide valuable feedback and insights that can help improve service quality and innovation.
Improving Online Reputation
Online reviews and ratings are influential factors for customers when choosing a hotel. Positive reviews can boost the hotel’s visibility, credibility, and attractiveness on online platforms and social media.
Generating More Demand
By creating a distinctive and consistent customer experience that matches the brand promise, hotel managers can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract more customers who are willing to pay a premium for their services.
By increasing customer loyalty, reputation, and demand, hotel managers can also increase their RevPAR and profit margins. Moreover, by investing in customer satisfaction through key areas like strategic property asset management, they can reduce customer acquisition costs, staff turnover, and operational inefficiencies. This, in the long run, is a much more viable option than cutting costs.
Strategic Approach to Effective CEM
A strategic approach to effective customer experience management (CEM) is the bedrock upon which hotels build enduring relationships with their guests and ensure long-term success in a highly competitive industry.
To successfully implement CEM, hotel managers must embrace a multifaceted strategy that is both proactive and deeply attuned to guest preferences. Here’s a closer look at the strategic approach that underpins effective CEM:
Conduct Comprehensive Customer Research
At the heart of CEM is a profound understanding of the guests. Hotel managers need to conduct extensive customer research to gain insights into their target audience. This research encompasses various dimensions, including demographics, preferences, behaviours, needs, and pain points.
Such in-depth knowledge provides a foundation for crafting experiences that truly resonate with guests. To gather this information, hotels can employ a variety of research methods:
- Surveys: Surveys are a traditional yet highly effective means of collecting feedback and data from guests.
They can be administered before, during, or after the guest’s stay to gain insights into their expectations and experiences.
- Focus groups: Focus groups bring together a select group of guests to explore their perspectives, delve into specific areas of interest, and brainstorm potential improvements.
- Observation: Observing guest interactions and behaviours within the hotel provides a wealth of information. From their choice of amenities to their dining preferences, every action offers insights.
- Online analytics and CET: Leveraging customer experience technology (CET), hotels can gather data from online interactions, booking histories, and website visits to create a more comprehensive view of their customers.
Advanced analytics tools provide real-time data that can be analysed to spot trends and patterns.
Segment and Target Customers
Building upon the insights garnered from customer research, hotel managers should focus on segmenting and targeting customers. Not all guests are the same, and recognising this diversity is key to delivering personalised experiences. The strategic approach involves:
- Identifying profitable and loyal segments: Not all customers are created equal. Some are more profitable and loyal than others.
By identifying these segments, hotel managers can allocate resources more efficiently and create tailored experiences for their most valuable guests.
- Defining value proposition and positioning: For each customer segment, hotels need to develop a unique value proposition and positioning strategy. This entails crafting a clear and compelling message that reflects what the hotel can offer to that specific segment.
Whether it’s a family-focused experience, a luxury getaway, or a business-oriented stay, the message should align with the needs and preferences of the targeted audience.
Discover Premium Customer Experience Management with Axsia HTL
Elevating your hotel’s customer experience can transform it from a place to stay into a cherished destination where guests return time and time again. At Axsia HTL, we understand the pivotal role of customer experience management in nurturing guest loyalty, enhancing your online reputation, driving demand, and ultimately boosting profitability.
Our strategic approach, grounded in comprehensive customer research and thoughtful segmentation, ensures that every guest’s journey is distinctive and memorable. By offering personalised experiences that align with the diverse needs and preferences of your guests, you can set your hotel apart in today’s competitive landscape.
Contact us today to embark on a journey towards customer-centric excellence. Our CEM services empower your hotel to offer the exceptional experiences that modern travellers crave. It’s time to go beyond traditional hospitality and embark on a path that nurtures long-term success.