Every interaction with guests has a direct impact on the way they experience their visit, this is what make the hotel industry a very complicated environment. The product is an experience itself, so it is very important that it levels with the expectations of the guest.
However, the negative experiences of guest spread much faster and further throughout the world, and they stay longer than positive experiences. This makes it very important to make the customers experience the number one priority in the hotel industry. On these days it is extra important than ever before because now there are multiple online review and social media platforms which gives the customers the chance to rapidly share their experience with a wide range of people. (Mahmoud, 2015)
Interacting with your customers is what the hotel industry is all about, this is why it is an ideal environment for co-creation. According to Peelen and Beltman (2013) co-creation has social advantages because people from different backgrounds are being brought together. However, the biggest advantage that can be achieved is when co-created products or services are distributed freely among users. There have been several attempts at co-creation within this sector. Unfortunately most of these are some form of customer engagement, for example a crowdsource or survey to get input from customers.
According to Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004), the success of co-creation is dependent on several factors which is described in the DART principles: Dialogue (the way to talk with your customers), Access, Risk and Transparency.
A recent example of an online ideation is the Starwood’s Marriott Travel Brilliantly initiative. It is a well-executed online platform that invites guests to submit ideas and vote on other guests’ ideas. But actually it is nothing more than an online suggestion box. This is another way of market research through a personalized online channel. (Marriot, 2016)
Several years earlier Starwood was also the first real-world hospitality company to open a virtual hotel in Second Life. It was used to learn and test-market their new hotel concept Aloft and rapidly prototype the evolving concept. The project was also an effort to tap consumers for ideas. (Marriot, 2016)
Mahmoud, A. (2015, April 16). hospitalitynet.org. Retrieved from Customer Experience Strategy for hotels and how it can Generate More Revenues:http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4069852.html
Marriot. (2016, October 4). Marriot is changing travel. Retrieved from Travel brilliantly: https://travel-brilliantly.marriott.com/
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. United Kingdom: Pearon Education Limited.
Stylus. (2013, March 19). Design Hotels’ Co-Creation Competition, Helsinki. Retrieved from Stylus: http://www.stylus.com/mlpylb