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Guest experience: what are your guests really looking for?
In the hospitality industry, experience is the product. Nowadays, the ability of a hotel to offer its guests an excellent customer experience is the only way to remain impressed in the memory of the consumer and ensure that he will repeat the experience becoming a loyal customer.
In the era of online sharing, offering a "wow effect" to guests means amplifying the positive experience in the network to which each individual belongs, both online via social media and offline through word of mouth which has always been the most profitable strategy for every company.
The fact that the hospitality industry must provide memorable and enjoyable experiences is therefore at the basis of every hotel's mission, but this is not an easy goal to achieve. The aspect that makes life difficult for hospitality players is that guests’ needs constantly evolve: the concept of "excellent customer experience" continuously changes according to new standards acquired by consumers, often dictated by new social media trends or by what other brands offer to the market, even those belonging to different sectors. In short: the experience offered by the hotel has to change and evolve according to guests' wishes and wants that change with technology, trends and experiences customers have with brands they interact with.
The digital world and the "physical" offline world, are increasingly connected. Every year online experiences become more and more prevalent in purchasing decisions and also influence what people expect from brands to influence the perception of their stay.
What are guests really looking for?
Nowadays sectoral boundaries in markets have fallen and to satisfy guests, hospitality professionals must not only consider what their direct competitors offer, but it is necessary to study the experiences provided by brands belonging to diverse sectors. On a daily basis, customers enter in contact with multiple brand experiences created by companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook, that with their powerful tools are able to offer more and more engaging and personalized experiences: as a consequence, this raises the bar on customers’ expectations in all sectors, including the hospitality one.
Here are some aspects that influence consumer expectations nowadays:
Automatic chats, self-service stations, virtual agents are increasingly the first contact with companies. Phone calls, as a first contact, have fallen by 12%. This explains self-service kiosks used by hotels, airlines and other similar developments in the industry.
No customer wants to wait. The digital has introduced a sense of permanent urgency and immediacy, to the extent that if a mobile site does not open within 3 seconds, it is very likely that the user will abandon the page without even viewing it.
A good service is at the basis of every company and being served with kindness and professionalism in the hospitality industry is now being given for granted. What customers want is a sophisticated and intelligent service, increasing the level up to complete customization, as in the case of Walt Disney, which offers guests a personalized bracelet with the choices made during the reservation process. The bracelet can be used to open the room, access the theme park and to charge restaurant bills to the room. Offering smart devices to guests improves both the customer experience and the relationship between hotel staff and guests.
Consumers expect reliable and consistent communications at every contact. During each stay the same service level and usual procedures are expected, when a customer relates to Starbucks and then goes to the hotel, he expects the same service and expects the brand to be aware of his preference history (in the case in which the guest has already stayed at the property).
Guests always expect a better service. It is clear that practicing the same strategy over time does not help to remain competitive if guests' expectations evolve with market trends and the available technology. What hospitality professionals should do is open their horizons and compare the customer experiences offered by other brands by constantly monitoring trends that change the behavior and expectations of new guests.
Without any doubt, hotels must equip themselves with technological tools capable of increasing the efficiency in managing internal processes and improving the interaction between guests, staff and the property. A centralized PMS consisting of a single database in which all preferences and communications with guests are stored is certainly an excellent tool for hotels that want to guarantee an outstanding customer experience.
Fill out the form below to find out how a PMS with integrated CRM can help you offer a self-service, fast, smart and consistent service to your guests.
We have been creating complete and highly specialized technological solutions for the hospitality industry since 1995.
Having an exclusive focus on a single industry, our investments have always been entirely dedicated to the development of our software and innovative applications for hotel and restaurant management.
The experience gained over the years, together with what we acquire on a daily basis by being in contact with hospitality professionals, allows us to understand the real needs of the sector and to develop, based on new market trends and regulations, flexible and scalable solutions that can be customized according to the needs of each property, from independent ones to chains.
Ericsoft collects personal data for operation efficiency purposes and to offer customers and end users the best experience possible with its services and software. Data collected includes the following and refers not only to customers’ data, but also end users’ one:
Name and contact data: Ericsoft collects your first and last name, email address, postal address, phone number and other similar contact information.
Credentials: Ericsoft collects passwords, password hints and similar security data used for authentication and account access.
Payment data: Ericsoft collects data necessary to process your payment, such as credit card number and the security code associated with the payment method.
Customers and end users have choice options on the data collected and can therefore decline to provide such personal data; anyhow, if data necessary for service provision is not provided, some features or services may not be used.
Ericsoft uses the data that collected for two reasons: (1) to provide the services offered, (2) to send communications, including informational and promotional ones.
Services offered: include service functioning, service performance maintenance and improvement, as well as the development of new functionalities, research and customer support. Some examples include:
Customer support: Ericsoft uses data to diagnose service problems and provide support services.
Service Improvement: Ericsoft uses data to continually improve the services offered, including the provision of new features or capabilities.
Security, Safety and Dispute Resolution: Ericsoft uses data to protect the security and safety of its services and customers, to detect and prevent fraud, to confirm software licenses validity, to resolve disputes, and to enforce its contracts.
Communications: Ericsoft uses data collected to deliver and personalize its communications with customers. For example, Ericsoft may contact customers by email or other means to: inform them when a subscription is about to end, communicate that updates are available, demand for information relative to a service or repair request, invite a customer to take part in a survey or remind them to keep their account active.
Ericsoft shares customers’ and end users’ personal data with customers’ consent or based on the necessity to complete a transaction or provide a service requested or authorized by the customer or the end user. For example, when a customer or end user provides payment information to complete a purchase transaction, Ericsoft shares payment data with banks and other entities that process payment transactions or provide other financial services, for fraud prevention and credit risk reduction.
Ericsoft shares personal data with its affiliates and subsidiaries companies, vendors and agents that work on her behalf, for the purposes specified in this policy. For example, companies hired to provide customer service support or assist in protecting and securing systems and services may need access to personal data in order to provide these services. In such cases, these companies must abide by Ericsoft’s data privacy and security requirements and are not allowed to use personal data they receive from Ericsoft for any other purpose. Ericsoft may also disclose personal data as part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or asset sale.
Finally, Ericsoft will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including customers’ and end users’ content, when in good faith believes that doing so is necessary to:
comply with applicable law or respond to a valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;
protect Ericsoft customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to fraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone;
operate and maintain the security of the Ericsoft services, including actions to prevent or stop an attack on the Ericsoft’s computer systems or networks;
protect the rights and property of Ericsoft, such as enforcing the application of the terms that govern the use of the services.
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