Article | June 29, 2023
As the impact of COVID-19 subsides, the devasted travel industry appears to be resuming normalcy with increased travel volumes. In addition, emerging tourism trends and technology in the travel industry have offered new possibilities for business travel to redefine itself. The present opportunities available in the travel sector may benefit your firm. However, customer experience in the travel industry has a significant impact on growing long-term loyalty. Providing a positive client experience is a significant problem for many in the travel and tourism industry.
Customer Experience Is a Challenge to Recover
Customer experience is a critical component of the travel and tourism industry. As travel volumes have increased in the post-covid era, so have negative travel experiences. Business travelers who commute frequently have higher expectations. For a very long time, they have voiced their dissatisfaction, even before the leisure travelers complained. This imbalance has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, 38% of business passengers complained about the airline, double the percentage compared to leisure travelers. The actual question, though, is how to overcome this obstacle.
Some companies may go above and beyond to reassure travelers with honesty, openness, and unmatched customer service. You may improve the customer experience by implementing the following ideas.
Concentrate on the corporate culture
Give specific examples of consumer advocacy
Equip employees with the necessary tools
According to a survey conducted by Think with Google, superior customer service is the most compelling aspect for high-value travelers. Additionally, 60% of them agree that customer service is the most crucial factor when it comes to picking a brand to travel with.
CX Plays a Vital Role in Revenue Generation
Managing customer experience in travel can enhance the brand-customer relationship, ultimately leading to revenue growth. The adoption of technology for travel booking, ticketing, and expenditure management has improved the customer experience. Satisfied customers increase income and assist firms in calculating the return on their travel and cost expenditures.
Customer experience is a key differentiator that boosts customer happiness and loyalty, and both sells and establishes a competitive edge.
“CX is the difference between success or slump.”
— Chris Pescott, CEO of Perceptive.
Annual business travel expenditures will reach $1.7 trillion globally by 2022. According to Statista, nearly 500 million business travels will take place withing the United States each year by 2022.
Ways to Improve Customer Experience (CX)
Use Tech to Create Breakthrough Customer Experiences
Technology in the travel industry is regularly evolving. By putting technology at the center of each touchpoint, the industry is laying the groundwork for a successful customer experience in travel. Chatbots powered by AI and machine learning deliver client care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chatbots have been intelligently developed using cutting-edge technology and may be used in place of humans. AI is constantly evolving, making it more trustworthy and effective as a commercial solution.
Embrace an Omnichannel Mindset
With mobile devices accounting for more than 50% of online traffic, multi-device digital experiences have become the norm. In addition, today's customers interact with companies across various offline and online channels, frequently switching several times, and each stage of the journey must be seamlessly connected and consistent. As a result, adopting omnichannel is one of the most significant changes you will undertake.
Use Customer Journey Mapping
To create a customer journey, you must first understand your consumer. By comparing journey maps to core KPIs, you may gain a deeper insight into your customer experience and identify areas of concern and opportunity. You may use trip maps to enhance the customer experience and visualize the customer experience in the future. Alternatively, you may influence organizational transformation from the stage of inspiration to the planning and execution phases. Utilize all touchpoints and seek new possibilities for interaction.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
KLM's social care staff are well-known for their responsiveness and efficiency – the airline even shows a live countdown on its Twitter header picture to inform consumers when they may anticipate a response. However, what sets the organization apart is its ability to generate unique customer experiences.
Qatar Airways is elevating the business class travel experience. At a recent travel industry conference in Berlin, the airline unveiled its Business Class QSuite. This is the first time a business class cabin has been offered and sold with a real double bed. However, the organization goes a step further by providing value to consumers traveling for business. Additionally, the QSuite may be an open work and meeting room. Multiple configuration choices appeal to clients seeking privacy or personalization.
A score of 9.2 for audience insights indicates that the brand is in tune with its social audience well enough to cultivate an impressive number of committed followers.
The travel and tourism industry significantly benefits from nurturing an outstanding customer experience. Supremacy in customer experience can be offered with the help of sophisticated digital technology that can quantify effects and forecast behavior. In addition, as 'bleisure' travel continues to grow in popularity to blend business and leisure time, the customer experience in travel is increasing in relevance.
What are the benefits of a good customer experience?
A good customer experience increases sales and creates customer loyalty. Moreover, it reduces complaints.
How would you define excellent customer service?
Great customer service means responding promptly to a client's wants, being responsive to their concerns, and offering an enthusiastic level of care.
Do you value customer service or customer experience more?
Consumer service results in a positive customer experience. Both are critical to the business's success.
Article | July 19, 2023
Elevate your expertise with these must-read hospitality management books offering a comprehensive guide to enhance your skills, providing industry trends-related insights and live cases & examples.
In the constantly evolving hospitality industry, professionals must stay abreast of the latest trends and insights. Whether you are an industry veteran, an aspiring hospitality worker, or a student pursuing a degree in hospitality management, the right books can provide you with valuable knowledge and direction. The growth of the hospitality industry on a global scale has led to the emergence of a wide range of exceptional books that cover various topics. These include digital marketing strategy, e-commerce tourism, personal experiences, practical advice, and in-depth industry analysis. This curated selection of ten top books on hospitality management offers valuable insights into the industry, allowing you to stay ahead of the curve and enhance your expertise in the field.
1. Unreasonable Hospitality
Author Name: Will Guidara
For professionals in the hospitality and tourism sector looking to advance their knowledge of hospitality management, the book Unreasonable Hospitality: The Extraordinary Power of Giving People More Than They Expect is a must-read. One of the books on hospitality management written by Will Guidara, a former co-owner of the famous eatery Eleven Madison Park, it imparts essential lessons and insights from his journey to turn the struggling business into the world's best restaurant. Guidara emphasizes the transformative power of going above and beyond anticipation through extreme alterations, a strong collaboration between the kitchen and dining room, and remarkable, personalized kindness experiences. This national bestseller book encourages readers to discover the wonder in their work and produce incredible experiences for others with its captivating anecdotes and industry experts' wisdom.
2. Be Our Guest: Revised and Updated Edition
Author Name: Theodore B. Kinni
Be Our Guest: Revised and Updated Edition: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service (The Disney Institute Leadership Series) is one of the essential hospitality management books for industry professionals seeking to improve their customer service skills. Based on the renowned Disney methodology, this book emphasizes exceeding customer expectations beyond mere satisfaction. The book reveals exceptional business strategies that underpin the enchantment of quality service, using insights not typically found in conventional workplaces. Whether one works in hotels, restaurants, or any other hospitality-related industry, reading this book on hospitality management will help envision new opportunities and provide techniques for exceptional customer experiences. In addition, Kinni has published twenty books on topics covering sales, marketing and leadership, targeting hospitality management as the focused audience.
3. First Class Travel on a Budget: How to Hack Your Credit Cards to Book Incredible Trips for Less
Author Name: Zachary Abel
Discover the secrets for five-star vacation on a specific back pocket budget with "First Class Travel on a Budget: How to Hack Your Credit Cards to Book Incredible Trips for Less." In this insightful guide, Zachary Burr Abel shares his expertise in navigating airline loyalty programs, credit card promotions, and hidden travel fees. With actionable advice and humorous anecdotes, reading this hospitality and tourism management book will help professionals learn how to fly first class, find deals on rental cars and hotels, earn airline points, and maximize credit card rewards. This invaluable resource is a must-read for anyone in the hospitality industry looking to elevate their expertise in managing travel and providing exceptional guest experiences.
4. Hospitality Management People Skills and Manners On and Off the Job
Author Name: Lyn Pont PhD
For professionals seeking to start their career or improve their career in hospitality, one of the must-reads hotel management books by Pont is Hospitality Management: People Skills and Manners On and Off the Job. This hospitality book covers various topics, including service, relationships, integrity, communication, personal image, and creativity. Focusing on soft skills and the cultural expectations of guests, Pont provides practical advice and industry insights to help readers excel in their careers. Whether you're a seasoned executive or new to the industry, this treasure trove of information will equip you with the necessary tools to deliver exceptional customer care, represent your organization with professionalism and confidence as well as help you to stand out in the competitive hospitality industry.
5. Strategic Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
Author Name: Nigel G. Evans
Strategic Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Events is a comprehensive guide designed to equip students in the hospitality industry with essential strategic management principles. This exceptional book bridges the gap between theory and practical through industry-based case studies and examples, offering a deeper understanding of strategic management in the context of tourism, hospitality, and events. The third edition of this book features updated international case studies covering SMEs and large-scale businesses integrated throughout to show the various applications of strategic management theory, big data, artificial intelligence, sustainability, and innovation. With accessible language and helpful features, this resource is a valuable tool for students seeking to enhance their knowledge and excel in the dynamic field of tourism, hospitality, and events management.
6. Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
Author Name: Danny Meyer
One of the bestselling hospitality and tourism management books, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business, is a book by Danny Meyer, an acclaimed restaurateur behind successful ventures like Union Square Cafe and Shake Shack. Meyer shares his invaluable insights on developing a dynamic philosophy called Enlightened Hospitality, which focuses on fostering strong relationships within the organization and delivering exceptional customer satisfaction. It is one of the influential hospitality management books that draws from real-life experiences and teachings applicable to anyone in the hospitality industry or any business sector. This motivational work, considered a landmark in the field, provides valuable lessons for managers, executives, and staff, enhancing their effectiveness and deepening their appreciation for achieving excellence in their work to improve hospitality experience.
7. Operations Management in the Hospitality Industry
Editor Name: Peter Szende, Alec N. Dalton (Editor), Michelle (Myongjee) Yoo
To improve operations and enhance hospitality management expertise, the book titled ‘Operations Management in the Hospitality Industry’ is an essential resource for the tourism and hospitality experts. This book covers various topics crucial to operational success in restaurants, resorts, and other hospitality establishments, as well as equips readers with fundamental techniques and tools for analyzing and improving operational capabilities. With its comprehensive approach, incorporating key theories, frameworks, and industry examples, the book offers valuable knowledge for students preparing for their careers and working professionals.
8. Event Management for the Tourism and Hospitality
Author Name: Bonita M. Kolb
If you are looking for a comprehensive guide, Event Management for the Tourism and Hospitality Industries is a book designed to equip readers and practitioners in the hospitality industry with the essential knowledge and skills for planning, managing, and evaluating events. This book covers various topics, including visitor segmentation, budgeting, promotion, and post-event assessment, while addressing contemporary issues such as environmental sustainability, cultural diversity, technology, and community engagement. Through international case studies, readers will gain real-world insights and learn how to connect events with local heritage and culture, delivering personalized experiences to visitors. It is one of the best hospitality management books that includes a practical approach and detailed event plan outline.
9. Tourism Management
Author Name: Stephen J. Page
One of the best books for hospitality management and tourism by Stephen Page, Tourism Management provides a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of tourism. Currently in the 6th edition the book offers a global perspective on the industry, and will not only benefit students pursuing a degree, diploma, or simply studying the subject, but it will also help professionals in the tourism industry. This book includes content on contemporary issues affecting businesses, enhanced sustainable development strategies to overcome climate change challenges, and a section with different perspectives from China and South America on using taxation to limit travel air behaviour. Furthermore, it combines textual content and features case studies with diagrams, and images, offering valuable insights into the evolving landscape of tourism management.
10. Hospitality Management: A Brief Introduction
Author Name: Roy C Wood
An easy-to-operate introduction for students of hotel and hospitality management and hospitality studies, Hospitality Management: A Brief Introduction offers a concise and comprehensive overview of the hospitality industry, making it an essential read for students new to the industry. Authored by Roy Wood, an expert in academia and practice, this book covers key areas such as employee relations, accommodation and food management, marketing and sales, industry strategy, management roles, education, and future trends. By drawing on a range of established research and incorporating the perspective of the hospitality consumer, Wood provides readers with a well-rounded understanding of the industry's realities and challenges. This book is a valuable resource for anyone studying or working in hospitality management.
The hospitality industry is transforming rapidly, driven by technological advancements, changing consumer expectations, and emerging trends. As we look to the future, hospitality professionals must proactively stay ahead of the curve and elevate their expertise. These hospitality industry books empower readers to navigate the evolving landscape, embracing innovative practices and sustainability and delivering exceptional guest experiences. By advancing their knowledge and embracing essential insights and strategies, hospitality professionals can position themselves for success in the dynamic world of hospitality management operations.
Article | August 28, 2023
The travel industry is reviving. Tourist spots across the globe are packed with excited explorers. Though it feels like everything is going back to normal, the way people travel has changed. The hospitality tech revolution is making mundane tasks easier and the customer experience richer.
Most travelers prefer self-service over waiting to be served. Online planning and bookings have picked up pace, so have contact-less check-in and 24/7 digital concierge. Hotels must swiftly meet these evolving demands or risk losing in the race. They must incorporate technology into their day-to-day operations to eliminate human error, increase their service efficiency, and, above all, offer an outstanding customer experience.
One of the technology trends reshaping the travel and hospitality industry is digital concierge—hotel chatbots that bring the concierge desk into the palm of a guest’s hand. Convenient, right?
A Sneak Peak into Hotel Chatbots
Hotel chatbots are software applications that communicate with your hotel’s website page visitors and resolve their queries. They are either programmed to behave a certain way or can be AI-powered. Programmed chatbots are configured to answer a limited set of questions. However, they can collect visitor information so your customer executives can get in touch with prospects to resolve their queries or provide them with booking assistance.
On the other hand, AI-powered chatbots use NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ML (Machine Learning) to analye human behaviour and accordingly answer questions.
Digital Concierge Brings in Conversions
Personalized communication forms the crux of customer experience. A desired, non-intrusive interaction between a guest and a chat bot can create strong engagement and help the guest to make a booking at your hotel. In such cases, the bot will forward the booking inquiries directly into the IBE (Internet Booking Engine) and strengthen your direct sales. 30-50% of the chatbot-prospect interactions result in IBE forwarding of booking inquiries. This statistic shows how accepting the guests are of the chatbot’s services. (Source: DialogShift, Olga Heuser)
Chatbots can also be integrated into social media platforms and instant messenger platforms so that guests can directly make bookings from a platform of their choice.
How are Hotel Chatbots Redefining CX?
Apart from bringing in revenue through direct sales, hotel chatbots also create a solid customer experience for the guests, so they don’t go home unsatisfied and give you a good review online.
Here are the ways in which they enhance the customer experience:
24/7 Availability- Chatbots promptly respond to guest queries round the clock
Multi-Lingual Support- Languages are not a barrier for them
Efficiency- They lighten your hotel staff’s load of answering guest queries
Customer Retention- They collect guest information, which helps in retention and follow-up
Brand Awareness- They are brand representatives and increase brand awareness through responsiveness
Additionally, AI- powered chatbots can also:
Highlight the hotel’s special features upon check-in
Recommend places and activities to do around the hotel with pictures and links
Request feedback from guests about services
Assist with table reservations or pool-side orders
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Used Rose to Impress Guests
The introduction of Rose, a smart chatbot that converses with guests on The Cosmopolitan’s website, changed the game for the hotel. The bot’s playful personality wooed hotel guests. Those who made a booking directly from the website ended up spending 37% more than those who did not engage with her.
Let’s Wrap It Up
A hotel chatbot refines the concierge experience for guests through rapid response times and enhances your hotel’s AI marketing efforts. It can be an invaluable asset for hotel business owners looking to stay ahead in the race.
Article | July 19, 2023
Leverage upselling and cross-selling techniques to elevate hospitality & tourism businesses. Discover the strategies used to boost revenue by adapting upselling and cross selling techniques in hotels.
2. Cross-selling Vs Upselling: Which One Is More Optimal?
2.1. Defining the Two Techniques
2.2. The Key Differences
3. Combining Both the Techniques to Improve Revenue
4. Importance of Implementing the Techniques in Hotel Businesses
The hospitality industry is highly competitive, and hotels must find ways to boost revenue beyond room rates and taxes. The key to success in this field is to tailor offers to each customer and encourage them to spend more than they had planned. Cross-selling and up-selling are two effective methods of increasing sales.
This article explores these methods' nuances in the hospitality sector. By dissecting the advantages of cross-selling and upselling, we can better understand when it makes sense to implement these tactics for maximum profit. The potency of upselling and cross selling techniques in hotels to improve the business and offer enhances guest experiences.
Cross-selling Vs Upselling: Which One Is More Optimal?
In the hospitality industry , maximizing revenue and enhancing guest experiences are paramount, and whether to prioritize cross-selling or upselling is a question. While often used interchangeably, these sales techniques hold distinctive positions within the buyer journey.
2.1. Defining the Two Techniques
Upselling is a sales approach that offers customers a higher-priced or upgraded service or product that aligns with their interests and preferences. In the hospitality industry, it may encompass enticing guests to upgrade their room selection, such as transitioning from a standard room to a mini-suite, either during the booking process or afterward. Additionally, it may involve presenting guests with hotel packages that provide added value and amenities compared to standalone bookings. The aim is to elevate customers to a higher price category and ensure they enjoy an exceptional stay experience.
On the other hand, cross-selling entails encouraging guests to purchase supplementary products or services related to their existing purchases. For instance, this could involve offering a spa package or a romantic dinner to enhance their stay. Cross-selling opportunities in the hospitality industry can include add-on activities like city tours or bicycle rentals, in-room extras such as upgraded amenities or specialized equipment, on-site spa and fitness services, food and beverage options such as dining discounts or meal packages, and other hotel services like complimentary parking or transportation.
2.2. The Key Differences
1. Strategy: Upselling focuses on communicating value to customers, persuading them to opt for a higher-priced or upgraded service or product. The emphasis is on showcasing the benefits and added value of the upsell, ensuring customers see the value in paying extra for a superior experience. On the other hand, cross-selling aims to appeal to impulse buying by enticing customers to purchase additional, related products or services that complement their original purchase.
2. Timing: Timing is crucial in both upselling and cross-selling. With upselling, the timing is most effective when done pre-arrival, ideally a week or two before the guest arrives at the hotel. This allows customers to anticipate their upcoming stay and consider upgrading their room or adding extra amenities. Cross-selling can be implemented post-booking, such as during check-in or through targeted email campaigns when customers have already committed to their initial purchase and are more open to additional offers.
3. Value Perception: Upselling techniques relies on effectively communicating the value and benefits of the upgraded or higher-priced offering. Guests need to see the value in paying extra for the enhanced experience. In contrast, cross-selling often involves appealing to customers' desire for convenience or enjoyment by offering travel management services that enhance their stay without necessarily requiring a significant increase in expenditure.
3. Combining Both the Techniques to Improve Revenue
Cross-selling is the most effective post-booking and can be implemented in various ways. Firstly, it can be done at the hotel reception during check-in, where guests can be offered add-on items. Secondly, sending an informative email before arrival to highlight additional services is another compelling cross-selling opportunity. Lastly, when guests express interest in a particular service, it presents an opportunity to introduce them to other relevant options.
Upselling, however, is particularly effective when implemented pre-arrival, ideally a week or two before guests arrive at the hotel. This technique can be deployed during the browsing and booking, where customers can be presented with room upgrades and add-on items. It is also fruitful to inform customers about better room options at affordable prices before their arrival, tapping into their anticipation for their upcoming vacation. Furthermore, during check-in, providing guests with information on enhancing their stay by spending a little extra can generate additional revenue.
To combine the power of both techniques efficiently, companies must employ specialized software. This software automates room upgrades and the promotion of additional ancillaries, providing customers with the convenience and freedom to choose and bid on attractive upgrades before arrival. Advanced customer journey analytics, such as software offers, enable personalized product offers, increasing sales and hotel revenue.
4. Importance of Implementing the Techniques in Hotel Businesses
Implementing upselling and cross-selling techniques is vital for hotel businesses, apartment rentals, and hostels. Hotel upselling techniques and cross selling techniques establishments possess unique opportunities to capitalize on these strategies, similar to how airlines offer seat upgrades, meal additions, and car rental options. When choosing accommodations, travelers invest considerable time and thought into finding a place that aligns with the desired ambiance of their trip. As hosts, this presents an ideal opportunity to offer additional products and activities that complement the property's offerings.
Unlike airlines, hotel properties often indicate the activities that guests might be interested in, allowing hosts to select the most relevant products to offer. This could involve tailored offerings such as private guided tours to popular tourist attractions or unique underground graffiti tours based on the guests' preferences and digital travel persona.
By providing personalized offerings that cater to the customer's needs, hotel businesses enhance the overall guest experience and deliver excellent service. Activities constitute the third-largest segment of the travel industry and are continuously growing. With data revealing that 46% of travelers engage in sightseeing tours, it becomes evident that upselling and cross-selling will play an increasingly significant role in the hospitality industry.
In the incredibly competitive hospitality industry, implementing upselling and cross-selling techniques is crucial for hotel businesses. By understanding the nuances and distinctions between these strategies, hotels can target customers strategically and increase revenue streams beyond room rates and taxes. Cross selling techniques encourages impulse purchases by offering additional products or services related to the initial investment. By combining both techniques with specialized software, hotels can personalize their offerings, automate their promotions, and provide a seamless experience for their guests. This strategy not only increases revenue but also caters to guests' various preferences, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty. As the activities segment of the travel industry continues to expand, the importance of upselling and cross-selling in hospitality management is anticipated to continue rising. In addition, deploying innovative business travel technology solutions can improve hotel businesses in hospitality industry.