Just like any other business, the main goal of a hotel is to grow and increase its revenue. It goes without saying that happy and satisfied guests are absolutely necessary for such an ambition. With this principle in mind, hotels have been developing strategies, action plans, and staff training plans for a long time. Efforts in each department transform the overall guest experience. After all, guest relations are shaped by every single detail from food to room design, from prices to the hotel’s geographical location. There is a logic behind all of this. We laid it out with a great example for you here.
Lior Arussy, president of Strativity Group said: “No one needs customer experience for the sake of customer experience; they need a financial driver” at the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) New York Local Networking Event on 6 February 2016. It is a fact that a business grows with its happy and loyal customers, the same principle applies to the lodging industry. It works like this: With each satisfied guest, you generate a loyal one who will then keep choosing your establishment over others. If you generate many loyal guests, then your business will grow rapidly and powerfully. Let’s get started on what you need to do by sharing Lior Arussy’s 10 rules about customer experience transformation and Pisano’s success story with The Marmara Hotel chain.
The very first branch of The Marmara Hotel was built in 1978; the chain now operates in various locations in Turkey and Manhattan, USA. The Marmara prioritises traditional Turkish architecture in each branch while providing first class lodging experience and tech-friendly service to its guests. The success story below underlines how much value they put on fast and unhindered communication.
During a summer holiday, Robin checked into The Marmara Hotel. Although Robin was satisfied with the room, he had realized that the TV remote was not working. He wanted to have the problem fixed as quickly as possible. So, when he saw the Pisano chat card with a QR code in his room, he used it immediately. The chat platform connected him with the hotel staff. When Robin’s message was delivered to the front office manager, one of hotel employees brought a brand new remote control together with a special gift in couple of minutes. After this surprising and satisfying guest experience, Robin awarded 100 points to The Marmara on a popular hotel advice website.
Here are the rules of customer/guest transformation this successful experience illustrates:
Rule 1: Know why you’re focusing on the guest experience.
Satisfied and happy guests not only give psychological satisfaction to a business owner but they also create high turnover rates. As we stated above, hotels grow by generating happy and loyal guests.
Rule 2: Create an exciting vision.
We should not confuse customer experience and customer service. Customer experience is not just about solving problems as in customer service. Customer — or guest in our case — experience does involve just problem solving; it is more than that. Guest experience requires unique and personal solution methods. In our The Marmara example, hotel staff immediately fixed the problem and additionally brought a special gift for Robin. This shows how a hotel’s vision can create special solutions that will transform the guest experience.
Rule 3: Develop a CX discipline and supporting skill set.
Action plans for guest experience aren’t picked randomly. A hotel should decide which actions it’ll undertake before situations pop up. What makes The Marmara example special is the additional care paid to small details. This is certainly not a random step. In fact, The Marmara used its specialised experience in the formulation of these actions. This is also the reason why every guest can expect the same high quality in The Marmara Hotels.
Rule 4: Integrate with other initiatives.
Guest experience is an organic process. Each part of the hotel, from its kitchen to accounting should move together just like a body. The Marmara showed us how guest relations play along with each other; from technical service for remote control to the kitchen for preparing the special gift.
Rule 5: Design measurements with impact.
Do you know how you can measure guest experience? You can always measure quality of guest experience with instant reactions of guests; but it is just the tip of the iceberg. You should collect smart amounts of real guest feedback to learn your exact brand value. The Marmara can both react after hearing the immediate voice of its guests at any moment and create long-term successful action plans by collecting efficent number of guest feedback with Pisano.
Rule 6: Unify guest information.
Can you imagine a tool for recording various habits of every guest and communicating with them at the same time? The Marmara can do this with each guest and sustain communication from everywhere and anytime with Pisano. Using what it learns via Pisano, The Marmara builds a solid guest profile and acts on it.
Rule 7: Create a sustainable guest-centric culture.
Arussy comments that: “The number one enemy in your organization is the people who think they’re providing the best customer experience already.” This type of “already-got-it” mentality is deadly for customer-centricity. What a hotel needs is a body of employees dedicated to continuous self-improvement. In The Marmara case, employees focused on creating an unforgettable experience for their guest rather than just solving the problem. This is also the start of a concept called “customer obsession”.
Rule 8: Activate your number one asset.
Your CEO is the heart of your guest relations. Guest experience includes more than just people; it is the face-to-face communication that matters. And this requires your CEO to stay updated with everything involved in a guest’s journey.
Rule 9: Put people ahead of products.
You may think you can just move on from a bad service experience in your hotel. However, your guests hardly forget about certain details like unpleasant conversations with your employees. This determines your branding value in eyes of your guests. The Marmara proved its worth with the friendliness of its staff in this example. It’s not a surprise that majority of comments about the hotel on the internet mentions about how great smiling face and warm attitude of employees are.
Rule 10: Appoint everyone to be in charge.
Guest experience is not merely one person’s responsibility in your hotel. Each person have to generate solutions and create innovations in guest experience. Similar to the previous point, hotels like The Marmara can achieve this goal by motivated and innovative minded employees.
These rules are all about creating unique guest experiences in order for your hotel to grow. To reach this goal, you should increase the range of guest touch points and use these touch points to keep guests happy and loyal. This is where we come in with our solutions. Pisano helps you set up and improve guest touch points. We build a communication channel between you and your guests. You can see and respond to feedback anytime and from anywhere with Pisano. As Arussy highlights: “If you want exceptional results, you need to deliver exceptional experiences.” Just like The Marmara, are you ready to deliver outstanding service with Pisano?