May 20, 2022 | Customer Service | Reading Time: 5 minutes
Did you know Asksuite also has a webinar called Hotel Cast Tv with Paula Carreirão, Asksuite’s Content Marketing Coordinator and Global Top 20 Hospitality Executives to Watch in 2022? She sits down with some of the most relevant names in the hotel industry to discuss trends, bringing new insights and sharing their experiences.
It’s informative, it’s funny, and it can help you give your business a twist.
Although this episode was recorded in the middle of the pandemic, our guests’ predictions came true and their advice can still be applied now.
Balancing Tech and Human Touch to Deliver Memorable Hotel Customer Experiences continues to be a challenge today. To talk about it, we invited two of the most energetic and passionate leaders in the industry—Christine Trippi and Calvin Stovall. Here is a little background on the guests:
Award-winning GM at Marriott International, Christine Trippi is the CEO of The Wise Pineapple and author of Yes Is the Answer. Christine believes that, to be exceptional, you need to stand out, be confident, be empowered, and lead from the heart!
Chief Experience Officer of ICONIC Presentations, LLC, Calvin specializes in delivering high-energy presentations and training programs to help organizations attain iconic status. Calvin is also the author of the forthcoming book Hospitality Historiography, a historical depiction of significant contributions made by African Americans to the hospitality industry, beginning in the 1700s.
So, without further ado, here are the highlights of what we could learn from these top specialists and some important advice on how to navigate the post-covid world:
6 unmissable insights from Calvin and Christine:
1. Out with the old, in with the new
There are a lot of repressed emotions and feelings after being stuck indoors for so long—people are ready to get out there to shop and travel, and technology has a role to play to ensure travelers get everything they’re expecting from hotels.
Associates and guests have been forced to embrace tech platforms, systems, and especially mobile-friendly solutions. It forced hoteliers to see their daily activities with new eyes—how to get better at the process to make things cleaner, safer, smoother, and simpler.
It’s in hotels’ best interest to make the most out of this need for travel and new experiences. So, be creative and engage with people who are starved for connection.
If you think of social media, remember that no response is still a response, and it’s a powerful one because it comes across to your guests as a lack of care. People are using these channels to communicate with hotels and enjoy easy customer service.
2. Hotels need both humans and bots
You need technology and human touch to avoid wearing out the staff you have in-house. Therefore, be sure tech is something people will expect from you upfront since consumers have become more and more impatient.
Calvin has an important warning for hoteliers:
“We have some catching up to do as an industry. We’re all used to personalization. Netflix does it. Amazon does it. They know how to personalize an experience for you, and that will be a trend going forward.
From a technology standpoint, we have to be able to do that for customers and guests. Customers are becoming increasingly impatient. You can’t wait 3 or 4 days to reply to a text or email.
Many things guests are asking for are things you can automate, and come up with an autoresponse for 9 out of 10 questions. What is the location? What amenities do you have? You can’t have guests waiting. Then, the other part of your team can focus on more complex issues. You don’t want them dealing with these small things that, of course, are very important, but if you could figure out a way to use technology to respond quickly, that’s huge because, if you don’t do it, your competitors will.”
🎧 In this episode of Hotel Cast Podcast, Calvin Stovall gives good examples of what we can do now for a better tomorrow in hospitality:
3. Assuming is a toxic virus that can infect your team
Assumptions leave room for numerous misunderstandings, leading to poor performance, then bleeding into customer service. This is why managers need to find ways to keep their staff sharp even if processes aren’t always done in person anymore.
From letting your associates know how much you appreciate their work to defining great protocols and establishing new efficient means of communication for your staff, managers need to enhance communication in their teams as a top priority.
4. It’s not about technology taking your job
“I always ask this question to the front desk when I’m consulting at a hotel: Would you rather answer 10 phone calls or reply to 10 messages? Hands down, no one has ever said phone calls. They all prefer texts, so I tell them:
‘Well, if you don’t reply to texts right away, people are going to call. So, embrace technology and understand you’re fighting against something that you really want.’
“And there’s more information at our fingertips—you can see guests’ birthdays, preferences, anniversaries, if they’ve achieved a loyalty status, and even what they like to drink. People want to feel special. You can and should use technology to achieve the customer retention you’ve been dreaming of.”
👉 In this short video, Christine Tripp about the 3 mistakes hotel teams are making with Mobile Chat:
5. We don’t do stuck and left behind in this industry
Change your energy and attitude about challenges that your hotel comes across. Calvin is an evangelist about having an iconic mindset, and to go where things are headed in this industry, you need to have the right way of thinking to move your team into becoming the best they can be. Get the right tools to train them, and help them create an unbelievable customer experience.
You aren’t being compared to just the people in your industry, you’re being compared to any service provider who delivers an experience more personalized than yours. The big companies are doing it nonstop and raising the bar for experience.
So, our experts’ advice for hoteliers is to never be afraid to innovate when it comes to making things faster and smoother for your guests.
If a new tech sounds off to you, try to learn as much as you can about it and consult specialists, so your decisions can be informed and based on data. Talk to our team if you don’t want to stay behind in hotel customer service:
6. Meeting expectations and beyond
We are in an era where guests can do the entire process online, to the point where they never even come to a real-person interaction.
So, hoteliers need to make these online exchanges as remarkable as possible. They remember the brand and what the brand experience offered them.
Turn around your hard nos. Thank customers, acknowledge them, and welcome them. There is always something you can do so that guests won’t ever blast you on social media because that can hurt your brand for a very long time.
We can all agree there are no machines against humans, but it’s a way to improve service and make interactions between guests and staff smoother, not to mention, freeing up your time.
Hoteliers need to understand this: things are never going back to what they were before the pandemic because travelers and guests enjoy simpler, easier, and personalized experiences.
- Calvin and Christine’s reports show us the reality of a new scenario and how much the competition is already doing to retain guests.
- Focus on what you can do today to create a memorable experience with what you have. If you can do anything to personalize the experience for the person staying with you, do it.
It doesn’t have to be huge and cost a lot. It can involve technology that makes sense for your hotel and a culture that is consistent and that is laser-focused on the details and delivery.
📺 If you want to go back and watch this incredible webinar about human touch vs. technology, featuring some of the most passionate leaders in the industry, click on the button below :