We are in the midst of another hospitality revolution, where technology is taking the reins to improve the guest experience across restaurants and hotels alike. From three-ringed binders and faxes to cloud-based systems, event planners now have the ability to communicate with every staff member in real time and in a more efficient way. Personalization has become a top priority for the hospitality industry to meet the needs of their customers at a faster rate. Restaurants and hotels are starting to take advantage of these emerging platforms to anticipate the needs of the guest and create better engagement and brand loyalty. This article from Tripleseat discusses how the hospitality can better use technology to improve the customer experience and encourage repeat visits.
Top to bottom, front to back: It’s a team effort
According to a study conducted in 2016, 75% of businesses view the improvement of customer experience as a major priority. But in order to fully accomplish this, they need to look at current strategies to see what is being done correctly and what needs to be worked on. In the hospitality industry, which is almost entirely customer-focused, businesses want their patrons to have the utmost enjoyable experience, whether at a private event or in a restaurant having dinner. So it is critical they not only understand what the customer wants, but also the types of services and experiences they will want down the road.
Incorporating today’s hospitality technology is crucial to understanding customer behaviors and patterns, and having access to such data is critical for success. Having this kind of data provides owners with a wealth of insights. For instance, in the restaurant and hotel business, it can provide a seamless way for event managers to get a better idea of who their target customers are and how to reach them. The industry has been slow to reap the benefits of these types of technology, including business intelligence-driven applications. However, these days every venue needs to have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite to help implement, manage, and foster dynamic guest interactions. Customers can be demanding, and service industries are expected to meet these demands at every turn. For example, most restaurants and hotels have WiFi, not because they need to have it, but because their customers demand it.
The front of the house of a restaurant or hotel is where the guest experience begins. But behind the closed doors is where the magic happens. Technology can help make the process run efficiently and smoothly, and be deployed on the back-end to handle purchase orders, financial documents, and scheduling to ensure that each and every customer is satisfied.
Personalization is the new automation
You just can’t manufacture warmth. Consumers today care more about the experience and that trend is doubly true for both restaurants and hotels. For example, with the event business, the same boring hors d'oeuvres and cash bar won’t cut it anymore. People now want to have a unique experience.
With maturity of reservation solutions, restaurants now have a host of data to understand when the guest last ate at the restaurants, what they ordered, what their favorite wine is and how much they spent. Customers now expect upon their return that the restaurant knows what they want and how they want it. Being treated like a “regular” at an establishment is now the expectation not the exception.
Customer satisfaction, guaranteed
In the hospitality industry, loyalty is king and word of mouth is queen. As more and more new restaurants open up in highly competitive marketplaces, it is very important they use the latest technology tools and the data they provide to stay ahead of the curve. This is especially true in the event planning and party hosting business. Creating a more personalized and immersive experience for customers the moment they arrive will leave a lasting impression.
The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, and with new technologies getting thrown into the mix, the industry has been improving at a rapid pace. A key trend in 2018 will see hospitality industry shifting its focus to embrace more backend solutions that will ensure a top notch guest experience.