The lessons of the concierge – mastering omnichannel

The hotel concierge is a true artist in managing the guest experience. But how can hotels extend that same white-glove treatment to all facets? Calum McIndoe, Infor Hospitality explores the lessons of the concierge…

Calum McIndoe, Infor Hospitality

In a previous post, we discussed the importance of mapping the guest journey in delivering a compelling experience. But what are the capabilities needed to optimize communications and offers that can define that journey? How do you start in the best possible fashion?

The hotel concierge is a true artist in managing the guest experience. A good concierge can recommend a restaurant, give directions, and suggest other on-site services the guest might enjoy. He or she can tailor recommendations based on what he or she knows about the guest’s preferences and history and their experience with other similar guests.

A concierge specialises in being at right place, the right time, with the right information. But how can hotels extend that same white-glove treatment to all facets of the guest experience? How can they ensure that they provide guests with the right offers and the right information at every point of decision?

Keep it personal(ised)
As in any industry, hotel guests are more likely to notice and respond to relevant interactions. They want content and offers tailored to their preferences. For the hotel, this means more than including the guest’s name on a generic email campaign. It requires a comprehensive data-driven approach that takes into account all the historical, demographic, and contextual information the hotel has from every channel the guest may use.

Anticipate needs
Guests don’t always know what they’ll want until they see it. Hotels need predictive capabilities to analyze the nuances in the guest’s data to determine the optimal cross-selling opportunities that a guest might find intriguing – without alienating them with irrelevant offers or overwhelming them with too many contacts.

Stay engaged in every channel
Guest data collected in one channel has to be visible across all the others. Likewise, an offer promoted in one channel has to be available in the others. Consistency in content and messaging are critical to a smooth guest experience. After all, guests navigate multiple channels in their own journey, and they expect the hotel to do the same in a seamless and continuous way.

Use impeccable timing
Effective guest engagement is a real-time effort. Hotels need the capacity to capture the guest’s attention and make a good impression at each point of contact as the interaction progresses. This includes closely tracking the guest’s responses without being intrusive and continually adapting offers to improve the effectiveness of each contact.

Never stop learning about the guest
The offer a guest responded to on a previous visit may not elicit the same response in the future. Preferences and needs change. Hotels need to keep adjusting their picture of the guest and adjust offers on all subsequent interactions to improve the likelihood of success.

Do it all at scale
Achieving this level of personalisation and relevancy with a single guest is hard enough. The challenge for the hotel is do it on a scale with all guests, all channels, and all properties. Also, the hotel has to ensure that it is delivering the high-impact offers that will trigger responses but that still ensure the hotel is meeting its own enterprise goals for profitability, occupancy, and other KPIs. A great offer for the guest still has to make sense for the hotel’s bottom line.

For more information, please visit http://www.infor.com

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