In today’s mobile age, power lies more and more in the hands of the customer and the value of delivering a great guest experience has never been more prominent. According to a Customer Experience Index (CEI) survey, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more to receive a better customer experience, and only 1% of customers feel their expectations are being met consistently. Another survey by American Express revealed that 59% of Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. So as Steve Cannon, Mercedes Benz USA President and CEO put it, “Customer experience is the new marketing.”
It is thought by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (Walker). Product or price advantage can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer experience can’t be copied and the companies that do focus on customer experience will flourish. According to the Harvard Review, customers who had the ‘best experience’ spend 140% more compared to those who had poor experiences and are more likely to be loyal. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase (White House Office of Consumer Affairs) and studies have shown that improving customer experience can increase annual revenues by more than $1B for large hospitality companies. Positive guest experiences and overall satisfaction not only equate to loyal guests but they are also profitable.
As the hospitality industry grows increasingly competitive, more and more properties are looking to technology to help them manage and deliver an enhance customer experience. As property management systems (PMS) are at the heart of guest experience management, investing in a modern Cloud PMS is key to managing and elevating the guest experience – here’s how:
Self Service: The majority of travelers would like to see greater automation of hotel services with over half wanting to use their mobile device to receive bills (58%), check-in (54%), checkout (57%), pay for hotel services (51%), and open their hotel room door (50%)” 2016 Cognizant Travel Survey. A cloud-based PMS enables mobile self-service options such as check-in/out, mobile room service requests, late check-out requests, extended bookings, and so on. By implementing a cloud-based system provides mobility, greater automation and self-service options to guests that appeal to their convenience and flexibility needs increasing their overall customer satisfaction.
Personalized Service: Guests now expect personalized interactions when they travel and technology has made the delivery of such interactions easier than ever. A cloud-based PMS has the ability to consolidate pertinent guest stay information and preference data (from multiple sources) all in one place. Armed with such detailed guest profiles hoteliers can deliver real time offers and sell customized relevant ancillary products, services and/or packages to the right customers, at the right time in their journey and at their moment of decision (all based on the availability of those additional streams on a hotel-by-hotel basis!). Having the ability to recognize customers and deliver a personalized experience on a granular level will not only impress guests but create loyalty and ensure that they come back for more.
Seamless Experience: Guests aren’t concerned about how you run your business on the backend. However, they will notice if your operation is less than efficient. A cloud-based PMS has the power to make a guest’s stay seamless, as well as your employees’ lives easier. A cloud PMS can automate and streamline the entire guest experience from start to finish, from captivating hotel profiles to optimized direct booking engines to one-click check-in functionalities. With better technology tools in place your staff are not only more efficient but are free to focus on creating and delivering a seamless experience that guests not only appreciate, but have come to expect.
Customer experience has pretty much become the only true differentiator between companies, and the better the customer experience, the more your customers will do business with you. With a cloud-based PMS, hoteliers will not only improve the guest experience but will also generate increased customer loyalty, occupancy rates and revenues.
Sign up for a free demo of our mobile PMS and see how you can improve the guest experience in your hotel.