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Use your data

According to McKinsey: “While the customer user journey should remain at the forefront of businesses, the key to satisfying customers is not just to measure what happens, but also to use data to drive action throughout the organisation.” ReviewPro, a cloud-based tool,

enables brands to manage their online reputation, scores and guest surveys via a fully integrated platform. Companies can use this information to prioritise operational and service improvements to deliver better guest experiences. It is used by Ed Gallier, head of L&D at Jurys Inn hotels, who agrees data capture allows businesses to be more transparent. “Guests can leave comments

on ReviewPro in real time, which are reviewed on a daily basis by our management team. Tis tells us what the hotel should be focusing on. We know what an exceptional experience is because guests constantly tell us what they are liking or not liking. Tis is really key in how we drive our business. “We based our coaching and train-

ing programme around the idea of mak- ing everyday experiences exceptional. Our foundation is to make the check-in process or experience in the restaurant a little better than any regular hotel.” Hotels can improve customer

experience by moving away from touch- points and focusing on journeys instead. Tis should be done by observing how customers view the world in order to tailor services around their needs; reshaping interactions into different sequences as well as rewiring a company to provide the customer experience as a journey in itself. Tis requires high engagement from company

leaders and frontline workers alike. Yvette Wise, sales director at Blue

Sky Performance Improvement, agrees that the customer experience has never felt more crucial, whether in the hotel industry or any other. “We recently interviewed Simon Sinek, an author, speaker and consultant who writes on leadership and management. He recounted a story about a visit to the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. He said: ‘Te reason it’s a lovely hotel is not because of the fancy beds, because any hotel can buy fancy beds. Te reason it’s a fantastic hotel is because of the people who work there.’”

Motivate employees

While frontline employees are responsible for delivering the best customer experience, how can leaders motivate employees to do the right thing? Wise says it is important to set the right climate for employees to turn up and be their best. “Te outcome will be more human

conversations at all levels of the business resulting in better outcomes for the consumer or guest. Companies that create exceptional customer experiences can set themselves apart from their competitors through their people. “We know from our experience

of working with the best that, for service companies, the tone has to be set from the top. Leaders create the climate where people can thrive and be at their personal best. An employee could work at two different hotel chains and the guests’ experience of them will be entirely different. “In an environment where the

employee feels cared for and feels that the management genuinely has

their best interests at heart, they will perform at their natural best. If they work for a chain where management is always checking up on them and pointing out what’s wrong, they will simply turn up, do their job and get paid. It’s not just a question of employing great people to look after your guests. It’s having the right leaders who can create the climate

We want to be game- changers and exceed expectations by creating memorable experiences that make our guests really happy

so that, when it matters, employees can be themselves and truly human conversations happen over and over again to create loyal customers.” We are living in a world where

consumer choices are expanding and customer expectations are increasing. Business owners need more convincing that improving customer service and customer experience is essential and can lead to increased customer reten- tion, brand loyalty and more revenue. On the flip side, a single poor

customer experience can easily break a customer relationship and have a negative impact on brand reputation. Review websites like TripAdvisor mean the voice of the customer has never been louder and organisations that fail to listen to that voice and do not fulfil their customer expectations do so at their peril.


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