The identification of customer engagement arena’s through customer journey model in a hotel industry

 

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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.

 

 

Bibliography

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/

 

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Customer retention correlation with customer satisfaction in a hotel industry

 

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Retention analysis identifies customers with higher leaving company intentions. In a hotel industry, it can be implied for loyal customers, who tend to book the same hotel or the same chain hotel every time they travel. Losing loyal customers not necessary means that something went wrong during their stay, but it could be one of the factors. However, all the other factors can be less obvious. That is the reason why the retention analyses should be done. Knowing why customers want to change hotels can help managers to improve service, quality or other lacking elements. Moreover, it can also stop other customers from leaving (Ed Peelen, Rob Beltman, 2013).

Loyal guest’s decision to change hotel chain can be correlated with their satisfaction during their stay. Consequently, customer satisfaction is one of the most important factors that lead hotels to success. Customer satisfaction can be identified by many variables, for instance price and quality ratio, location, service, staff friendliness, food and beverage service or the hotel’s overall image. To reduce the number of dropped customers the hotel managers must understand the relationship between customer satisfaction and retention. Even 70% of identifiable reasons why customers left hotels and chose its competitor was poor service. The quality service provided face-to face could be the deciding factor to come back at the same hotel or choose another one.

It is important to analyze the situations when customers were satisfied with provided service. Based on the outcomes of the focus group, which was done by Petrillose and Brewer (Petrillose, M J &Brewer, P.B , 2000) customers were satisfied with service when employees were courteous, friendly, helpful and ready to respond. Moreover, positive first impression, satisfying service, extended interactions also plays a huge role in customer satisfaction.  Consequently, these reasons could be the main reasons for customers to return to the hotel.

However, positive and negative experiences during the customer’s stay at the hotel, not necessarily have to influence their decision to come back. Some of the travelers can be categorized in to the group that has the intention to switch the brand. This group of costumers tent to choose another hotel each time they travel at the same destination and they are not likely to come back to the same one, even though their previous stay was pleasant. Contrastingly, loyal customers have an attachment to the brand and once they are satisfied with the service, they become less sensitive to pricing and other little issues that can occur during their stay (Janet Sim , Brenda Mak & David Jones, 2006).

To sum it up, customer satisfaction can have a correlation with customer retention, but it does not necessarily mean that it can be applied for each case. There are many other factors that influence customer retention, such as consumers tension to switch brands and customer loyalty. These factors should be analyzed first before any conclusions are drawn.

 

 

 

Bibliography

Ed Peelen, Rob Beltman. (2013). Customer relationship management. In R. B. Ed Peelen. United Kingdom: Copyright, Designs and Patents.

Janet Sim , Brenda Mak & David Jones. (2006). A Model of Customer Satisfaction and Retention for Hotels. Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism.

Petrillose, M J &Brewer, P.B . (2000). An exploration of customer retention factors in Las Vegas resort properties. Gaming Research & Review Journal, 1-14.

 

Co-production vs co-creation and these strategies implementation in a hotel industry

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Hospitality organizations understands that their success depends on their customer’s satisfaction and created experiences. Consequently, hotels try to create unique and memorable experiences for customers to please them. There are two techniques that hotels could implement to meet their guest’s expectations: Co-production and co-creation. These strategies will be analyzed and compared further.

Co-production is a strategy that emphasizes a firm centric view regarding customer involvement during the service production. It is an exchange of service between customers and organizations build on a platform of production and consumption. It basically means that using this strategy customers have a passive role in a service production. For instance, customers can assist hotel via self- service by completing check in/out forms or by giving their feedback on the service. Even though, customers do have a chance to state their opinion they are not involve in the process of service and experiences creation. (Chathoth, 2013)

Contrariwise, co-creation is used to emphasize service dominant logic, which means that customers are actively involved in all the stages of service creation process. The main focus is joint effort and collaboration between the producer and consumer with a goal to learn from consumers (Chathoth, 2013). Co-creation strategy has many advantages, such as costs reduction and saving time. Moreover, it also has a social advantage, because customers that participates in service creation are usually from different backgrounds. The success of co-creation depends on several factors. It can be distinguished by the DART model (dialogue, access, risk, transparency). It is highly important to have a dialogue with costumers and to find their hidden needs. Furthermore, it is essential to be open and accessible for customers, to know the risks and show your customers that their input matters, so they would not lose the interest (Beltman, 2013).

Consequently, co-creation strategy is proven to be more successful in a hotel industry. It is mostly because due to co-creation strategy hotels are able to gain knowledge of customer personal needs and use it to create value in use. For instance, Qbic Design hotels offers rooms with futuristic style with a possibility to change the color of the walls based on the customer mood. Moreover, customers can be involved in a creation process by creating co-design. For example, Starwood hotels launched their virtual product “Virtual Aloft” which allows guests to visit and create their own rooms design in a virtual world. It gives guest a feeling that they are a part of the creation, meanwhile hotels get insight about their customer’s desires and can use this information for designing rooms or other facilities in a hotel.

To sum it up, both strategies can be used by hotels, but co-creation can be more beneficial. It reduces costs, saves time, builds long-lasting relationship with customers and hotels can gain a beneficial advantage knowing customer preferences and use them to improve their products and services.

 

Bibliography

Ed Peelen, Rob Beltman. (2013). Customer relationship management. Amsterdam: Pearson education Benelux BV.

Chathoth, P. (2013). Co-production versus co-creation: A process based continuum in the hoteel service context. International journal of hospitality management, 11-20.

 

 

Customer intimacy strategy implementation in a hotel industry

36337724766_c5019f4340_bAccording to Treacy and Wiersema, customer intimacy is a strategy where the relationship with customers and their wishes and desires are the most important factor. Using intimacy strategy companies usually focuses on selling already tested products instead of introducing new products. Providing customers the goods and services that fits their needs perfectly allows companies to build customer loyalty for the long term. (Ed Peelen&Beltman, 2013).

If the company’s goal is to implement customer intimacy strategy, it can be done in several ways. Companies could increase their touchpoints, such as customer service, websites, blogs, events or search engines queries. Moreover, quick response and social networking could increase intimacy between the company and customers as well. By showing clients that they are the most important and giving them a chance to be directly linked from the official website to other social media channels could gain their trust (CMG, 2016).

Consequently, intimacy strategy is used by many hotels. For instance, Ritz-Carlton hotel chain implemented this strategy for creating better and longer lasting relationships with their customers. A hotel created their loyal customer’s identity cards, which showed their personal data and preferences, such as type of room, breakfast packages and special needs. Therefore, every time when repeated visitors called for booking a room they already knew what are their preferences and did not need to ask many questions to find it out. This way it saves customer’s time and brings them personal feeling that the organization already knows what they like and who they are. Thus, this is a perfect example how the hotels can create better relationship with their customers and bring them unforgettable experience just by adding extra value to their service.  (Kolesar, 1998).

Moreover, many hotels fail to be successful just because they mainly focus on sales instead of focusing on their customer needs. According to Kurt Verweire, (Verweire, 2014) personal customer’s analysis could bring more benefits to the company than a constant push of the sales, because customers feel appreciated and it build their trust. It can take a while to change organization’s values and implement customer intimacy strategy. However, the key to implement this strategy is to listen to your customers to understand instead of listen to sell.

To sum it up, customer intimacy strategy is about getting to know your customer’s personal needs and providing them goods or services that fits their desires. Customer intimacy strategy can be implemented by increasing their touchpoints, by being quick to respond on customers’ requests, emails, complains and social networking. Moreover, it is important to know that intimacy between hotel and customer can be created by providing them personal experience and emphasising their uniqueness.

 

 

Bibliography

CMG. (2016). 6 most effective customer intimacy strategies. Retrieved from CMG: http://cmgpartners.com/content/customer-intimacy-strategy/

Ed Peelen, Rob Beltman. (2013). Customer relationship management. Amsterdam: Pearson education Benelux BV.

Kolesar, P. (1998). CREATING CUSTOMER VALUE THROUGH INDUSTRIALIZED INTIMACY. Retrieved from strategy business: https://www.strategy-business.com/article/19127?gko=81aa7

Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema. (1992). Customer Intimacy and other values Diciplines. Harvard business review.

Verweire, K. (2014). Strategy implementation. Oxon: Routledge.