Enhancing the hotel guest experience is largely about removing 'friction' from interactions across all parts of the property, all touchpoints (both physical and digital) and all phases of the guest journey. It’s about recognizing guests’ preferences and enabling relevant and personalized interactions that make them feel special and appreciated.
It’s about anticipating and catering to guests’ unique needs. It’s about recognizing their differentiated value and responding immediately to their requests. And when issues arise, it’s about resolving them as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Bringing this lofty vision to fruition is easier said than done. It requires organizational commitment. It also requires technology investment — which hotels are increasingly willing to make.
According to The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management (currently available for complimentary download), technology expenditures this year are largely focused on initiatives geared towards enhancing the guest experience, including better digital engagement.
The business case for Guest Experience Management (GEM) is easy to make from an ROI perspective, given the obvious correlation between increased guest satisfaction, loyalty and brand advocacy and better revenue performance. Other benefits of a GEM-related initiative generally include lower sales and marketing costs (due to higher volumes of repeat business) and increased employee satisfaction and loyalty, which in itself can have a profound impact on guest satisfaction.
It’s important to note that GEM is as much a set of guiding principles as it is a set of technology solutions. Ideally, GEM will transform the culture of a hotel toward a common goal: to treat each guest in a way that optimizes their end-to-end experience across all parts of the property.
Simply put, the guest experience is the sum total and cumulative result of all of the interactions and communications that take place at different times and at different locations. Importantly, it may also include interactions that take place outside the property — and beyond the organization’s control, such as online travel agencies and third-party contractors.
Regardless of the size and category of their property, whether an independent hotel or part of an international chain, or whether a budget operation or 5 star luxury resort, by now virtually all decision makers in the industry have come to view their GEM capabilities and performance as a strategic imperative. GEM has become an essential guidepost for competing in today’s hypercompetitive market environment.
The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management (click here to access) offers hoteliers a framework for thinking about GEM and assessing their capabilities in this area.
For those looking to improve performance, it provides insights for selecting the right technology solutions in the context of their hotel or resort’s specific needs. It also offers practical advice for putting the right organizational resources, business processes and performance metrics in place to maximize success and drive continuous performance improvement.
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