There are several engagement arenas with customers while providing them service in a hotel industry. Customers positive and negative experiences depends on how well the communication was done. This is why it is important to look at the customer journey model, which shows every stage that customers usually take to purchase goods or service and identify in which phases different engagement arenas are used. (Falk, 2015).
Customer journey model has 7 phases called as following: Orientation, buy ticket, prepare, going to, participate event, going back and afterwards (Ed Peelen, Rob Beltman, 2013). Similarly, customer journey model can be applicable to the hotel industry. Every customer needs to do a reservation before their stay, prepare for their stay, go to the hotel, stay and then go back. During these stages, guests have certain emotions, which influence their overall perception of the brand and different engagement arenas are used.
For instance, during orientation and buy ticket phases social media and digital arena’s play a crucial role. Nowadays, many customers find and book their acommodation online through various booking platforms or advertising. In fact, social media can be used through the whole customer journey. As there are many hotels which already implicated mobile marketing in their business and owns mobile applications, customers can be reached from the second they book their acommodation. For instance, Marriot international hotel chain use mobile booking and mobile customer service during guest’s stay in a hotel. Marriot hotel was also experimenting with mobile check in and check out strategy as well as offered recommendations for their guests to find suitable restaurant and many other services (E-marketer, 2017).
Similarly, digital and social media arenas can be used during “preparation” and “going to” phases. At preparation phase many people are searching for more information about destination, local restaurants, attractions, transportation while at the phase “going to” the main need is to get directions how to travel at the destination, tips about public transport use and car rental could be useful to know. Therefore, those hotels which provide such information gain competitive advantage.
One of the most important phase in a customer journey model is the “event” phase. During this phase guests can finally experience the real service of the hotel and therefore physical engagement arena takes place. Consequently, pleasant personnel interaction with customers is crucial to provide the best service. However, digital media can also be used. The best example is Conrad Concierge campaign with a very successful mobile application which provides their guests with the most relevant information and help them to order extra services during their stay. The application consists of communication with staff, breakfast and dining order possibilities, option to order transportation, wake up calls and so on (Intelity, 2016).
The last two phases in a customer journey model are “going back” and “afterwards”. During these phases hotels need to make sure that their guests were satisfied with their stay and that they will return another time. Therefore, it is useful to let customers to fill in questionnaires about their stay and receive feedback. Even though, something went wrong during their stay, guests will feel appreciated that their negative experience is traying to be solved (IMI content team, 2016). All engagement arenas could be used to do it.
To sum up, the usage of all three engagement arenas are important for smooth communication with clients in a hotel industry. Even though, every phase in customer journey model have different purpose, different engagement arenas can be integrated to provide the best experiences for hotel customers.
Ed Peelen, Rob Beltman. (2013). Customer relationship management. Amsterdam: Pearson education Benelux BV.
E-marketer. (2017). An Interview with George Corbin. Retrieved from E marketer: http://www.emarketer.com/corporate/clients/marriott
Falk, J. (2015). Customer commitment has many faces, differs globally. Retrieved from Customer commitment has many faces, differs globally: https://phys.org/news/2015-07-customer-commitment-differs-globally.html
IMI content team. (2016). Top 6 Touchpoints Every Hotel Should Master. Retrieved from Internetmarketing: http://www.internetmarketinginc.com/blog/top-6-touchpoints-every-hotel-should-master/
Intelity. (2016). 3 examples of the best Hotel Brand technology . Retrieved from Intelitycorp: http://intelitycorp.com/main/3-examples-best-hotel-brand-technology/